Friday, January 25, 2019

Five Friday Favourites

It's been a crazy week and I have been recovering from catering the youth group camp, which was fun but really tiring.
I have just under 2 weeks until I go back to TAFE (I go back on the 6th of Feb) and something that has been on my mind is employment after I finish my diploma. I really don't want to go back to unemployment and find it really anxiety inducing just thinking about it. I'm giving all of my worries to God though and he lead me into Community Services so I know that he will lead me into the right job, but it doesn't stop me from worrying about it.

Next week is looking like a fun week, I am going to friends house on Monday afternoon for a BBQ as it's a public holiday. I am bringing along my famous caramel slice as it's always requested and if I don't bring it, I am pretty sure I will get disowned from the friend group haha.
Then on Thursday we are going to the science museum, despite not being a science minded person I really love going to see the exhibits and find it so interesting. I am definitely a hands on learner and always leave having learnt so much.
On Friday I am hoping to go the movies to see the film The Hate U Give as I loved the book and it looks like a good film.
It's looking to be a fun week before I get back into the studying mindset, which I am actually looking forward to if I am being honest so remind me of that when I am doing 5 assignments at once...

Onto Friday Favourites:
Tarte Amazonian clay 12 hour blush in Exposed - I rarely wear blush (for me its either blush or lipstick never both and I always pick lipstick) but I do wear it on special occasions and I wanted a new blush that wasn't too bold or intense (or would clash with one of my many lipsticks and make me look like a clown haha!). I decided to give Tarte's best selling blush a go and grabbed it in Exposed. It's good pigment and blends in great, I really love it goes on and it gives me a healthy glow without being to in your face.

Smash Bento Box - new year new study accessories! I am back to study in just under two weeks and I thought a new lunch box was in order. This lunch box caught my eye and I have a couple of other smash lunch box products that I use and love. I love how this box has compartments and the size is decent but not too big. I got it in in turquoise to match two of my other smash lunch containers and I'm looking forward to using it.

Carrot cake with cream cheese icing - I am picky when it comes to carrot cake (or maybe I am just a purist?) in my mind carrot cake should not have dried fruit, pineapple or even coconut in it, unfortunately almost all of the recipes I read contain at least one of the above but in my mind it should be carrots and walnuts that's it. This recipe popped up on my Facebook feed and it looked perfect to me of course some carrot cake recipes can be too oily or dry and can be lacking in flavour so I held my breath as I was making it but it turned out amazing. It tasted great and was a super easy non complicated recipe, the hardest part was grating the carrots. I did use half the amount of walnuts specified as that's all I had (I actually doubled the recipe) but it still turned out great, if you are after a carrot cake recipe them I suggest making this one.

Coroner (TV show) - I love Canadian tv shows and when I heard of this show I had to start watching it and I'm really enjoying it. It feels like a more realistic version of the TV show Bones but not as bloody. I love the focus on the mother and son relationship and their struggles, I though maybe they would ignore that storyline after the first episode but it's been great to see that remain in focus so far. I am looking forward to seeing where it goes and see what happens next.

Five Feet Apart (book) - I loved this book so much and can't wait for the movie to come out in March (I have already told Jocelyn I am dragging her to it whether she likes it or not). It was a great story and I love how it brings light to a chronic condition that isn't well known. While I have been aware of Cystic Fibrosis, I didn't know just how serious it could be and the complications it can have on someone's life. It's definitely a good read and I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Youth Group Camp Catering Recap

I have just gotten back from catering the youth group camp and I am exhausted but I thought I would do a recap before things get fuzzy.
I catered last years camp to much success and then I offered to cater this years camp if I was able (which I was). I was actually more stressed catering this time round as it was more people and it wasn't at the church unlike last years. I also didn't know the exact numbers until the Monday afternoon before. I ended up catering for around 35 (including myself) and that included 22 teens and the rest were leaders, all with varying appetites!
The camp went from Saturday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon and I had to do 2 dinners (we got fish and chips for dinner the first night), 2 lunches, 3 breakfasts and snacks.
I sat down with A (the organiser of the camp) Monday before the camp and told him my menu based on last years menu with a few tweaks and differences. I actually typed it up in a table along including what ingredients I would need and prep required, he was really impressed with my organision and couldn't believe how well thought out it was. 
A bought the things I wouldn't need prior or would require refrigeration and I did the rest of the shopping on Thursday and then spent Friday prepping and doing as much in advance as possible. I shredded the chicken for Sunday lunch, grated carrot (in the food processor), shredded lettuce, baked brownies, pre weighed ingredients for the cinnamon scrolls, made nacho mince and did a few other things that helped make life easier.
Also the camp was nut free to make things easier and the only other dietary requirement was one person who was pescatarian (doesn't eat meat but eats fish), so I did a vegetarian nacho mix for her on Sunday night and fried fish for her on Monday.

This was the menu:
Breakfast - cereal and toast
Lunch - chicken and salad rolls with avocado.
Dinner - nachos followed by cinnamon scrolls.

Breakfast - bacon, eggs and toast
Lunch - salami, ham and salad wraps
Dinner - sausages, potato salad, garden salad and a crunchy salad (bought from Aldi) followed by brownies

Breakfast - cereal and toast

Snacks (morning tea and supper) were a mix of the following:
cookie sticks, fruit (grapes, apples, oranges and watermelon), microwave popcorn, shapes biscuits, jatz crackers, hummus and carrot sticks and rice crackers.

We brought down everything except the bread, bread rolls and milk which we bought down there so they would be fresh.

Breakfast was at 8.30am, lunch was at 1.00pm and dinner was at 6.00pm. I spent the mornings doing stuff in the kitchen and then during the afternoons I would hang with the teens before starting dinner at 5.00pm. Night times I would put out the supper and then do whatever depending on what was required.

The camp was at a church campsite 2.5 hours away on the beach and the kitchen had an amazing view of the beach which was nice. It was also very hot on Sunday so it was great to be down on the coast.

The theme of the camp was Mission Impossible and I was impressed by the activities that were put on. The leaders had profiles written about them, with various characteristics (that they were required to fulfil throughout the camp) and the teens had to figure out who were the three moles. This was done through challenges and cracking codes.

The mornings they had talks and a few games that helped them earn points for their teams (which there were three of).

The first night they had a session followed by supper and the kids played spotlight among themselves.

On the second day (but first full day) after morning tea they had 5 (I think) stations they had to move through but if they failed one they had to go back to the previous. These were gross challenges and I was happy to be in the kitchen and watching from afar. One was playing ultimate frisbee using bananas, another was crawling through flour and water mixed together (thankfully these challenges were done on the beach) and there were a few others.
After lunch we drove to another beach where some inflatables obstacles were set up not far from shore and they all had fun climbing on those before we grabbed an ice cream and they did a photo scavenger hunt in their groups.
After dinner  and another session, there was meant to be a big capture the flag game but a lot of the teens were exhausted so they played board games instead.

The third day the morning was the same but instead of going anywhere we stayed at the beach and the senior pastor brought down his boat for the day and the teens went sea biscuiting (I went on the boat) until we went to one of the best ice cream places for ice cream and ultimate frisbee.
That last night there were 3 stations and one of the stations required them to work out a code and use it to "hack" into a computer which would give them more clues. Of course this was challenging as they had to try not to get caught by the leaders and provide excuses as to why they were in these areas. Two of the leaders had accents, one a German one the other a Russian one and it was hilarious seeing them interact and the teens had no idea what to think.
Another station involved a VR headset and defusing bombs and the other station required them to dodge lasers and compete in challenges.

The final day was clean up and the winning team was announced before morning tea and heading home via a lunch stop.

I arrived home at 2.30pm and immediately unpacked and did a load of washing before hugging a very clingy ginger cat then collapsing and eventually heading to bed early.

Catering a camp is no easy task but thankfully the leaders and teens made things a lot easier and were always so eager to help and thankful to me for doing it, which makes all the difference (also I may not have stashed some lollies in the kitchen haha).

Friday, January 11, 2019

Five Friday Favourites

This week has been a bit of a lazy one and I've enjoyed every minute of it. I got back from a trip away on Tuesday - recap here and I really tried to disconnect and silenced a lot of group chats and did minimal social media.
The antibiotics while they did help my ear it is still inflamed so I am now on ear drops for both ears as they are both inflamed. Thankfully I had to see my doctor anyway to get a referral so it meant I didn't need to book another appointment and could just bring up when I was already there. I was told that maybe I shouldn't have put my head under the water when I went swimming ooops.

Mary Poppins Returns - I grew up watching Mary Poppins and I remember my mum introducing me to the film when I was home sick from school one day. I was in awe of how they combined animation and real life and wanted to jump into the film. Of course my mum and my sisters had to go see Mary Poppins Returns as soon as it came out. It's a beautiful film and Emily Blunt plays a great Mary Poppins, they also tried to keep the style of film as close to the original as possible and it shows. It's a great film for the whole family and one that is worth seeing.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater  - sometimes your face just needs a refresh or a mid day pick me up and this spray is amazing. I love the scent and it really does refresh and hydrate your skin. I also discovered it can be used as an after sun spray, when you get a bit sunburnt at the beach and forget to bring your aloe vera gel.

Instant Family - Another movie that I couldn't resist seeing the movies. Its a film where you will laugh and cry and will really tug on your heartstrings. Overall it was an amazing film based on a true story and one that's well worth going to see and great for the whole family.

Leather Purse Gold Detail: Pink - Jocelyn got me this for me Christmas and I love it. I was able to get rid of my bulky purse and free up a lot of space in my bag. It's a good size and fits quite a bit in it, the leather feels nice and its great quality.  She also got it monogrammed for me which adds a great personal touch and makes me love it even more.

Every Hit Song From 2018 Mashup - I love these mashups and this one was so fun and well worth a watch.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Beach Holiday Recap

I have just spent a lovely week down south enjoying a family holiday :) It's been a few years since we have all been together for a week doing whatever we want and relaxing.
My church is fortunate to be able to hold a campsite for a week each January for those who wish to come down and stay for however long as they please. It's dorm style accommodation with a shared kitchen, games room, tennis courts and ablutions and it's located within metres of a our own private beach. There's actually lots of campsites that back onto this stretch of beach and it's been nicknamed the 'Holy Mile' by the locals. Different church denominations and not for profit groups have a campsite and throughout the year various groups can take advantage of the facilities. I am actually going down there next Saturday to cater our Youth Group's camp and in March we have our annual church camp there too.

On Wednesday we drove down to the campsite and were the first ones to arrive, we actually took two separate cars which made things easier. It was Jocelyn, Mum and I in her car and Megan and Dad in his. We arrived down at 2.30pm despite making a detour via a shopping centre where we got side tracked with the sales at Peter Alexander and to grab lunch for the road. A few other families were arriving that night too and we ended up combining our resources for dinner and we made Nachos there was 19 of us and it was great to have a big family meal to kick things off.

Thursday the weather was cool and Megan and Dad went into town to grab a few things so Mum,
Jocelyn and I along with 3 others went into a town near the wine region. We got to walk along the main strip and explore all the little shops with different wares. I bought a pair of silver earrings which were locally made and some fudge from the fudge factory.
On the way back we stopped in another little town that had statues of cows all through it, we grabbed lunch at the local bakery and looked in a soap store and another gift shop.
At 3.00pm everyone who was staying at the campsite met at a local ice cream shop for an afternoon treat, it was super packed but as always the ice cream was worth the wait.
At night after we dinner and the kids were in bed we would play board games and chat. Bannagrams was the popular choice but I always ended up reading as I never felt like thinking much.

Friday the weather still wasn't great so Dad suggested we go explore a cave, when we got to the cave to pay for the tour we were told the next availability wasn't until 11.30am so we bought tickets for that session and went into a nearby surf town to grab a drink and watch the surfers catch waves. We eventually returned to the cave ready for the tour, the actual tour portion wasn't that long - about 15 minutes and we were able to explore the cave at our own leisure. Megan does not like steps or confined spaces so we bribed her down with hot chips afterwards and she and Dad stayed together and didn't go to far from the entrance while Jocelyn, Mum and I explored the cave. At the deepest point the cave was 37 metres and there was a lot of stairs and walking through tight spaces! It was a fun experience and it was honestly like a whole different world down there. It took us about an hour to walk through all the cave and we were exhausted by the end of it. As we had bribed Megan with chips and she had succeeded in doing the cave we decided to stop off at a fish pub on the way back for fish and chips. It was a lovely meal and we all enjoyed it, before going back to the campsite for a much deserved rest.
Our afternoons always included sitting outside either on the grass near the beach or in a shady spot somewhere reading and relaxing. We also did lots of walks along the beach and I collected lots of tiny shells for a craft project. I read 3 books during the holiday and all mentioned the beach at some point during the stories which was amusing.

Saturday the weather was finally starting to improve  and Jocelyn, Mum and I went to some markets at a town hall nearby then we dropped Jocelyn off back at camp before going into the town closest to the campsite to meet Dad and Megan. We shared two pieces of vanilla slice and Mum and I did some shopping. I ended up buying some bathers as I needed a new pair and it was easier said than done! There was a bather shop in the town which I really like and had often looked in, being big busted finding bathers that are supportive, modest, that I like  and don't break the bank can be hard. I tried on so many bather tops before eventually settling on a royal blue tankini top with black bather bottoms. I ended up spending $125 in total but I maybe buy bathers once ever 3 years if that so it's justified.

Sunday we went to church followed by grabbing some more groceries and in the afternoon I actually swam at the beach. I'm not a huge beach person, so I maybe swim at the beach once or twice a year if that, but the weather was warm and the beach was perfect so I didn't need much convincing to swim. A lot of people were leaving Sunday as they had chosen to come down for a few nights or just for the weekend so the campsite was rather quiet and there was only 10 of us at the campsite that night compared to almost 30 on previous nights!
That night we saw a lot of wildlife including: 3 possums that loved to jump and play on the roofs of the dorms, 3 frogs one of which decided that the ladies bathroom was a nice place to hang out and a lizard (it was super small so we think it was a skink) when we were showering after the beach. We also saw a stingray that came into the shallows while we were swimming, though we had seen a few previously but they were from a distance  

Monday was our last full day the campsite and Megan, Mum, a friend and I decided to go the cheese factory followed by the chocolate factory in the morning. The region where we were is known for amazing food and wine but as none of us are big wine drinkers we had to settle for the food side of things. I bought some yummy brie cheese which was super creamy and perfect. I bought a 250 gram wheel of it to save for later and 150 gram wedge of it that we enjoyed that night. Then we went to the chocolate factory and lets be honest we really went for the free samples as I can't tell the difference between it and normal Cadbury dairymilk haha!
I also went for my second swim of the holiday and I ran into someone I did G Team with who was staying at one of the cottages on the campsite and it turns out she is married to my Mum's second cousin (so extremely distant relative) and was there with her husband (my granddad's cousins kid) 3 daughters, son in law and granddaughter. It's such a small world and it was great to see a familiar face and chat about our experience at G Team.
That afternoon we did one last trip to the ice cream shop before coming back to the campsite to enjoy our last night.

Tuesday we left the campsite at 9.00am to head home and we arrived home at lunchtime. It was such a lovely holiday and sometimes you just need to take a break and recharge, but there's no place like home and I missed Rikki (he also missed me to from the looks of things) and my own bed.