Monday, June 30, 2014

Responding to a Comment || My Life at Present

Over here I responded to some of the questions in this comment. Now I'll share a bit about "the season of life [I'm] currently in". Wow, that sounds open-ended. Where do I start?!

Well, I think I've said this on here before, but I'm in my last year of formal schooling (yay!), so I'm {meant to
be} working really hard to get everything finished that I want to study in high school (level). That means piles of math and science, along with some French.

Of course, being in my late teens with my graduation approaching, people regularly ask about my plans in terms of a job or career. I've been teaching recorder lessons to a few homeschooled students since the beginning of last year, and next year I plan to teach flute as well. Flute is actually my main instrument (I play it to a higher level than any other), but due to it's greater complexity, I opted to get some teaching experience with the recorder first. Once I've completed all the grades, I can go for my teaching diploma (that's just for flute -- there's one per instrument!) which is through ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music). And voila, I'll be a qualified flute teacher!

So, I think those are the two biggest parts of my life currently. As a daughter at home, I also have various family/household duties, such as working in the family business one day a week, cooking, cleaning, etc.

With my impending 18th {or perhaps that has subjective rather than intrinsic value?} and the end of my "school years" approaching (something akin to the end of an era!), a season (or seasons?) of my life are coming to an end. And I'll leave it at that {can you feel the suspense?!}, since this post was meant to be about the season I'm currently in. And I didn't write all that much. Oops.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Chapati Bread || Recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 30 minutes
Serves: 10


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup hot water or as needed


In a large bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the olive oil and enough water to make a soft dough that is elastic but not sticky. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth. Divide into 10 parts, or less if you want bigger breads. Roll each piece into a ball. Let rest for a few minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot and grease lightly. On a lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the balls of dough until very thin like a tortilla. When the pan starts smoking, put a chapati in it. Cook until the underside has brown spots, about 30 seconds, then flip and cook on the other side. Continue with remaining dough.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Danielle's Birthday || Ice Skating

Danielle organised to go ice skating with some of her friends and our family for her birthday this year. In fact, she sent the invitations before we knew what exactly she was planning!

: :Rachel | Happy skater : :

: : Monique : :
Do you like her dress?

: : Friends : :
Left to right: Monique, Danielle, Esther, Diana, Rachel, Lucy, and Abby 

: : And another group photo :) : :

: : Yes, I was there too : :
Why won't photos of me skating turn out well though?!

: : Rachel & Danielle : :

: : Gifts : :

: : Cake : :

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Responding to Readers' Questions || Life as a Homeschooler

I received another comment in response to the one I responded to here. I'm going to address three of the questions from it here: 1) Do I like homeschooling? 2) Do I ever wish I went to school? and 3) What kind of things do I do in each day? 

1) No, I don't like homeschooling. I LOVE it. Haha. My years of formal homeschooling (academics) are nearly over, but I am, and likely always will be, a homeschooler at heart.

2) Are you kidding me?! I'm nearly eighteen and more interested in job opportunities actually! :) But in the past . . . Well, for a short time before entering high school (level, that is) I did. But otherwise, no. I loved life as a homeschooler too much! :)

3) My average day would involve school work, music practice (flute especially, maybe guitar as well), folding washing (we all have assigned chores and that's my daily one), teaching (recorder) and some free time. One day a week I work with my dad in our family-owned import/wholesale business dispatching orders and doing some data entry, invoicing, taking/editing images, and updating catalogues and various other documents. Currently I'm designing a new catalogue as well. 

So there are my thoughts on those three questions. And if anything isn't clear, well then there's a comment section. ;) haha

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sausage Curry || Recipe

Preparation Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4


8-12 pork sausages
6 medium/large potatoes
250g mushrooms
vegetable oil
tomato sauce (about 2 desert spoons)
tomato purée (about 1 desert spoon)
1 1/2 desert spoons Madras curry powder
about 1/2 litre boiling water


Peel the potatoes, cut into "roast" potato-sized pieces. You should have around 12 big pieces of potato. Add the potatoes to a pan and cover with boiling water. Simmer until par-boiled. They should be soft but not crumbly.

Brown your sausages by grilling or frying. Put to one side and once cooled, slice your mushrooms and fry until soft.
Fry potatoes and add curry powder. Stir for one minute.
Add sausages and mushrooms. Stir again.
Cover ingredients with boiling water. Stir.
Add tomato sauce and purée.

Simmer for 10 minutes. The potatoes should have just started to break down to create a nice, thick sauce.

Leave for at least 30 minutes (preferably longer -- the longer you leave it the fuller the taste it achieves).

Serve the curry with Basmati rice.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Monique's Birthday || Stampin' Up! Party

For Monique's 13th this year, she organised a Stampin' Up! party which she ended up having at the manse, since our pastor was away and Monique really wanted to have Mrs. Smith (our pastor's wife) at the party. It turned out to be great for us because when Mum and Monique left, we had baking utensils, ingredients, you name it (just about . . . ) all over the kitchen and dining table (lol). 

Overall I think the cake turned out pretty good, no?

: : Talking before making cards : :

: : Cardmaking! : :

: : Treble Clefs!! : :
{Guess who piped those lol?}

: : Amelia Smith (7yrs) made this for Monique's birthday cake since I only made a cake last minute : :

I melted more chocolate than I needed, so I piped this pony as well. I think we ended up using it for Danielle's cake (photos still coming of that one lol)

Do you think?!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

{10 on 10}

: : Working on a recipe post for all my followers on here : : 

: : Life's better with a soundtrack, right? : :

: : Sorry, another music theory pic. My exam's on Saturday so I can stop after that! : :

: : Little Miss Poser! : :
(4 years)

: : Doo, doo, doo : :
Working on her singing early!

: : Partners in school work (lol) : :

: : So don't try the rule of thirds too closely on this one, but isn't it cool?! : :

: : Maria's artwork : :
(She actually did a different one but I guess I forgot to snap it!)

: : Caption this pic? : :

: : Aww, cutie : :

Monday, June 09, 2014

Chicken Curry || Recipe

Perhaps I've mentioned before that four of my siblings and I are each assigned one night per week to cook dinner for the family. Over the years, I have spent many pleasurable hours preparing various culinary creations, and several favourite recipes have emerged. I discovered early on that Indian cuisine is some of my favourite, and hence makes our menu fairly regularly! A few people have asked me what I cook, since there are ten of us to feed. Really, it isn't that hard because we've only ever gained one extra mouth at a time, and so the volume of ingredients has only gradually increased! I thought I would share a few of my favourite dishes, though. Pictured above are three curries: chicken, sausage, and vegetable, which I served {this time!} with Basmati rice and Chapati bread. The vegetable curry is just from the Edmonds cookbook currently available at grocery stores, and the other two curries, along with the bread recipe, I found online. Between three posts I will share the latter three recipes.

Chicken Curry


8 bone-in chicken breast halves, skinless
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon hot (Madras) curry powder
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk
4 whole cloves
4 pods cardamom
1 cinnamon stick


  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry; season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, then saute chicken until browned. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  2. Saute onions in skillet until translucent; add ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant, then stir in curry powder.
  3. Return chicken to skillet and add tomato sauce, coconut milk, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon stick. Season with salt to taste and stir all together.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through (no longer pink inside), about 20 to 25 minutes.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Jarrod's Birthday || Presents

: : Chocolate from Laura : :

: : Healthy gifts . . . ! : :

: : He lost all our ones, so we figured we'd buy him some more?! : :

: : Uh oh, what's Danielle up to this time? : :

: : Umm? : :

: : Yeah, nobody felt like icing the cake. : :

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Maria and Laura || Birthday Party

For about a year Maria has been talking about "her birthday party", so I figured we should have one for her! On April 24th we had a few friends over and prepared some party food, then just let the little ones play. (I decided not to do games this time.)

: : Mrs. Wood made these matching dresses for the girls! : :
Yes, they love them!

: : Maria (4yrs) : :

: : Laura (2yrs) : :

Monday, June 02, 2014

Liz and Lydia Over for Dinner

Liz and Lydia are our cousins somewhere down the line. They're from Wellington and we hadn't seen them for ages, so when they came to Auckland during the school holidays (uni holidays for them) we invited them over for dinner.

: : Bryce and Maria tried really hard to pull Liz off the chair : :

: : The girls have trialed a number of instruments themselves, : :
so throughout the night most of ours made an appearance!
Here Diana plays some recorder pieces (that she hasn't learnt yet) to Lydia.

: : Somehow the bath got forgotten about : :
Maybe the overflow thingy is blocked?!
The entire floor was covered!