Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mumma's Hearty Chicken Soup Recipe

I have delayed posting this for MONTHS. I am very reticent to part with this for some reason. I don't need it to be a secret but it feels less mine when I share it with the web. I worked so hard to perfect it.  I developed this recipe over the early part of our marriage (8 years ago). It makes a few meals. I buy one medium already roasted BBQ chicken from the grocery store. I use some of the breast meat for sandwiches, and the rest of the chicken for the soup.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Where's my invitation - How to stay good friends (off of Facebook)

Lauren and her wicked smile
Wonderful Facebook, where you find out who your true friends are. Right? Where people have the power to block you, see the post you only meant for your close friends, unlike your photos by not giving you a like in the first place, where stalking is prevalent, and gossip spreads faster than a hippo taking a dump. Where a whole lot can be assumed about a person you may or may not know, and you get away with jumping to the wildest, unfair, and idiotic conclusions about them.

Enter Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago. My husband and I were scanning our morning paper  newsfeed. Lo and behold what do I see, someone else partying with out me.
GASP! No, how could this be, this girl is my good friend, not my enemy? Immediately my mind goes through all the whys? (Read this in a really whiney voice)  - Why

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Peachy Keen Mumma's New Look

 I have a new look! No, it's not my hair this time, although you can see the before and after for that here . It's my website that's had a make over, a spring clean.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Olive Tree Markets Part 1 - The Passion Behind Hand Crafted & a Giveaway

I had a lot of fun on Saturday when I headed off the to ever-so-crafty Olive Tree Market, located in The Junction, NSW. As I got chatting to different stall holders I realised just how much The Olive Tree Markets have opened up this crafty homemade scene for Newcastle. The markets have given so many of them an opportunity to sell their uniquely made treasures.

I started by chatting to Brianna of Miss Lulu. She started making very sweet 1950's inspired clothing in 2007 for her little shop. The OTM was a launch point for Miss Lulu. You may remember seeing her elsewhere when she had a pop-up shop in the old DJ's building for Renew Newcastle.

Bri is ready to set sail with her nautical inspired Spring & Summer Collection, aptly named "Sail Away With Me."

 One of Bri's red tops above got me through many months of my pregnancy, and I can still wear it now.

Sugar Jones was started at the OTM 4 years ago by Anita with a little table of decorated biscuits in front of her sister's fabric printing stall,  Sketch & Jones. If you were to ask her when her baking passion really started she'd tell you it came from working in the kitchen at a very young age, in a big family, with a mother who was a terrible cook. "Love you mum." The 8 year old Anita won awards in the Newcastle and Maitland Show. Anita put down her camera after being a press photographer for 25 years to focus her creative efforts on baking for us at Sugar Jones.
Sugar Jones Caravan
Cheesecake Lemon Curd Meringue Jar
I've been sucked in by the homemade sweetness of Sugar Jones before, and this time it was the delightful cheesecake jar that tempted my taste buds. 

It was hard to go past Thirty Three Degrees South - Newcastle Soap Factory. Their soaps are so full of colour and their smell is delicious. If I were a kid again I could have tricked my mind into thinking I was sucking on something yummy if mum was washing my mouth out with this soap. That's how delectable they look.  Juanita started making soap around 5 years ago, and she's another one who started up with the OTM.  Her range is made of natural ingredients and 100% pure essential oils. I brought two of her soaps home with me and laid them on the dining room table. They filled the room as if I had lit a scented candle. Last night I tried the Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice soap and then sat watching TV and enjoying the scent of myself. Tonight I will be enjoying the mint soap and can't wait for shower time!


Walking by Snow Black Gourmet Food I was handed a sample of Priscilla Scanlon's Mandarin Pate. Myself and my husband have not been paté lovers in the past but we will be now. The quality was incredible and that something extra that we tasted was the mandarin liqueur that Pricilla has the Hunter Distillery make specially for her. She makes everything fresh the day before and sources all local ingredients. She couldn't do all of this without the loving help of her daughter Madison and mother-in-law Gillian. This is quite the change of pace for the woman who worked in Finance for 20 years. We couldn't walk away with out trying her Salted Caramel Panna Cotta. It was so smooth, and not at all watery. We'll definetly be back.
Priscilla's Panna Cotta

Next I met Kristie from the Big Toe Shoe Company. This wonderful single mum learned shoe making from Sydney Tafe, and now crafts these beautiful soft leather baby shoes; she cuts the pattern, hand punches the holes and then hand sews all of them. Quite the feat for a woman who has 3yr old twins and a 2 yr old at home. Kristie is thinking about making baby summer thongs as her next shoe project. Guess we'll find out how she went at the two Christmas Olive Tree market's happening this December.
David runs Feedback Organic Recovery. David will plant you an herb garden right on the spot. His price includes the soil, plants, planting and planters. He converts waste from Hunter Valley restaurants into the compost he uses, and his planters are made from reclaimed wood from Dad's old farm fence posts. David's project came from a desire to diversify his farm, where he runs a beef cattle company. I love the idea of making the old new again, and he has found a way to do this two fold.

The best part of Saturday's market was getting to know the history of some of these OTM stall holders, and their passion and heart for what they do. The next Olive Tree Market is on October 4th, and there will be 2 markets each in November and December as well.

GIVEAWAY TIME is our favourite time:
Hush Rumble Textiles & Design and Oscar and Matilda Jewellery have teamed up to do a giveaway for the next Olive Tree Market. Two lucky PKM readers will be walking away from the next market with either a hand printed cushion from Hush Rumble (valued at $25), or 3 pairs of hand crafted earrings from Oscar and Matilda's three for $25 range.

To Enter - You must be from Newcastle, NSW Australia or the Surrounding Areas

Step 1 - Use the Rafflecopter below to register you have entered
Step 2: and 'like' The Olive Tree Markets on Facebook
Step 3:  and leave a comment on this post telling us which giveaway you'd like to win - The hand printed cushion from Hush Rumble OR the hand crafted earrings from Oscar and Matilda.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
* Comments will be judged on their creativity so keep this in mind when you enter; this is a game of skill!
* Please read full terms & conditions listed in the rafflecopter.
* Full Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Olive Tree Market, but all opinions are my own.

THE WINNERS ARE Katie B for the Oscar and Matilda Earrings AND Siann E for the Hush Rumble Cushion!
CONGRATULATIONS LADIES, and see you on October the 4th at the next Olive Tree Markets to collect your prizes! 
Thank you to everyone who participated and commented!
The Judge for this competition was Kate from Hush Rumble (who knows none of the contenders).

Click here for PART 2 - Photo Safari

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day Gift IdeasFeaturing a Flight SimluationCream colored bedding / Glass decanter / straight up mug / Brooklyn Brewshop Beer Making Kit / Classic "Smooth Shave" Gift Set with Chrome Stand / Edwin Jagger DE89bl Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor

I racked my brain for some great gift ideas this year for Father's day as it's just around the corner here in Australia. Here's the list I came up with. Don't worry, a couple of these ideas are also FREE, and won't cost you anything but a little time.

So My Top 10 Picks Are:

1. Flight Simulator pack - Ummmm. Fun. I want to do it too. Could I justify buying a couple's pack or something. Nah. I had a quick search in my local area of Newcastle and found this one at Jet Flight Simulator Newcastle, click here for here for 60% off

2. Cold Drip Coffee Maker - All the cool kids are doing it. If you haven't tried any yet it goes down pretty smooth. I'm sure there's a place in your area that sells it by the cup. In Newcastle I'd go to Soul Foods to try a cup. If you're ready to make a purchase to have Dad brew his own cold coffee then I'd head to Crema Coffee House as they have a few different "makers" on offer.

3. A Cool Mug - if hot drinks are more your dad's thing. I wouldn't give this as his only present unless he's one of those guys who just thinks father's day is just another hallmark holiday, and a mug is all he needs.

4. A New Pillow- Sounds random but hear me out. It only takes my husband a couple of years to grow out of his because he says they lose their shape. He must have a heavy head? Then I have a friend who has had his since he was a teen. Spending big bucks on a pillow for your dad can really give him the night's sleep he deserves. When else can you really justify a big money pillow purchase?

5. A Sleep in - Let dad sleep in on Sunday (on his new pillow). Might be a hard one to convince mum to make happen depending on how many rug rats she has around her feet.
I'm definetly going to TRY to make this happen this Sunday for Dave. "Try" being the operative word here.

6. A Video Game (are kids still calling it that these days)? - Walking Dead's new game has received really great reviews, 9.5/10. I have already bought Dave a gift or else I'd consider getting this. He may have to wait until Christmas.

7. A vintage looking shaver set - If you are headed to The Olive Tree Markets this weekend then you'll see that Raw Suds sell a super cute one, but you'll have to search elsewhere to find a cool looking Chrome Plated,Old school razor like the one pictured above on Retro Razor.

8. Beer Making Kit OR Brew Your Own Gift Certificate - I have a craft beer lover in my house. Charlie's dad can't get enough of the stuff. Find your local Brew Your Own Shop. Our local one is in Cardiff and you pay anywhere from $150-$195 to get brew a minimum of 50 litres. That should keep dad happy for awhile.

9. Make something: Charlie and I are going to be getting out the paints tomorrow and making a couple of cards for Dad and Pa (Grandad). Last year I wrote a long card out for Dave and made it sound like his few months old baby was writing it. Dave got lots of giggles out of it. I plan on doing the same tomorrow. Here's a link to Nanny's blog. She shares a great idea for card making there.

10. The most important gift - Hug your dad and tell him why you love him, and thank him for putting up with you! And for teaching you heaps of crap like how to duct tape the muffler back onto the car. I don't have a dad so I'll be giving Dave's dad a big hug and an "I love you!