Oh No! I forgot the yeast!

Kneading the dough

Today has certainly been one of those days. The brain was foggy and I did silly little things like forgetting to take the cling wrap off the lasagna when I put it in the oven to reheat. Thank goodness I got to it before it melted everywhere.

I had one of those days last year. I think I forgot atleast one step on every task I did that day. The biggest one was when I made the bread. Only problem the step I forgot was adding the yeast to the mix… a pretty major ingredient in bread. It was only after the breadmaker was finished and I went to put the dough into the bread pan and into the oven did I even realise.

My next dilema – is it too late to add the yeast? after a failed attempt of google with noone being able to answer my question I decided to just give it a go. What else did I have too loose? If it didn't work I still had time to put another loaf on ready to bake in the morning.

So what did I do?

1) tipped the bread mixture onto my dough mat

2) added 2 teaspoons of yeast to the mixture

3) kneaded for 15mins (yes 15mins – it took that long for the yeast to mix in!)

4) placed it in the already lightly oiled bread pan I had prepared much earlier!

5) placed the lid 3/4 on and let rise for 20 mins

    you could also cover in cling wrap – just make sure you take it iff before you put in the oven!

6) bake in the over for 30mins on 200 deg cel.


And guess what. It worked a treat! The bread came out perfectly!

Me on the other hand had two very sore arms after a good upper body workout that night.

So if you do ever forget the yeast. Don't panic, your bread is not ruined. Just be prepared for some upper body exercise!

Labels don’t Define who you are

Label Quote

Last night I saw an inspirational story of four men who rode quad bikes across outback Australia. That alone is a feat in its self. But what was more amazing was not one of these men could walk. Each of them had sustained a spinal injury as a result of a motorbike or car accident many years earlier as teenagers or young adults. So, each of them were either a paraplegic or quadriplegic.

Each of the men shared their story of that moment that changed their life forever. They shared how they each responded to receiving the news of the injuries they had sustained. How they responded to being told they would never walk again.

And that got me thinking. Each of these men was given a life altering label, one that would change their entire life. It was now in their hands on how they responded… would they just bury their heads and let it control their life or would they see it as a just a change in course, a change in the way they did things, as new challenges to overcome.

Over the past few years I have heard many stories about people who have let labels determine their life. They were given labels about their personality, about what they would achieve (or not achieve) in life, about disabilities or medical conditions. They then let their life revolve around this label. They let the label define who they are and what they would achieve.

I have also had many parents of children I have worked with whilst treating as an occupational therapist who desperately did not want their child to be labelled in anyway. They do this out of fear that once the label was attached it would define who their child would become or what they would achieve. That it will direct their path in life.

But as these men demonstrated that is not true. A label does not have to define who you will become. It is purely there as a way to help them become the best person they could. In their case the label identified some possible hurdles they may face as they travel life’s journey. But they certainly didn’t let it stop them. Travelling 5000km on the back of quad bikes through outback Australia whilst not being able to walk is certainly not something they could have done if they have let they label define who they would become.

So if you or your child has been labelled in anyway, especially if it was negative, make a decision today to no let it define who you or they will become. Instead use it as an instruction card on how you can become a better person.

Remember. Label can always be removed or covered. So labels can always change.

Happy New Year!

2013 quote


I just love the first day of a new year. Even though in reality it is just another day, to me it always represents a new beginning, a fresh start, a new chapter in my life, our family's life.

After the challenges and overwhelming year of 2012 I am certainly ready for a new start. There were so many things that we as a family wanted to achieve but just didn't or couldn't due to so many different reasons. Our desire to return to the simple things in life was certainly challenged. Every corner we turned, every hill we climbed there were new obstacles in our way. Our life was busy, and I actually think busier than I have ever known. All the things I had in place before the big move to Sydney just fell to bits. And the year flew by so quickly. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.

But you know what?  I would never change our journey through last year. I would never wish it away. Yes it was hard, very hard. Yes there were tears (and lots of them). Yes it was frustrating (especially for the organised, structured person like me). But God walked us through every step of the way. He made us stronger; more confident to fight for what we believe, what we know is right; and a renewed passion for the simple things in life – faith, family, good health.

So as we enter 2013 we are certainly beginning a new chapter in our story. Not only is it a new year but we are currently relocating back to the country (yes literally as I type). Back to the place where I know we can get back to the simple things in life. This unexpected move was such a huge blessing at the end of a very long year.

I know the year won’t be without its challengers. My wonderful husband is starting a new job; little Miss Rapunzel is starting school; I have a house to unpack; therapists to sort out and of course keep up with making goodies to sell. But I this year I am not going to get overwhelmed by it. I am going to embrace every step, every challenge and every triumph that we encounter on the way. Every day is a new page in our story so every day I am going to make it count! And I pray that you do to.

Have an AWESOME and BLESSED 2013.


Christmas Shortbreads

Almost 11 years ago I met my wonderful husband. So for Christmas that year I baked him shortbreads – one of his favourite biscuits and a must at Christmas time. At the time I was boarding with a wonderful family and they had a great recipe that made really smooth velvety shortbreads. Darling Husband just loved them and for the next few years he asked for me to make them again. Only problem we couldn't find the recipe. It got lost in amongst the 100  or more cookbooks this family had.

Over the years I have tried many different recipes but none of them compared to this one. They were all nice but none had the smooth velvety texture these shortbreads had.

But the other day I found a recipe that was very similar. With a little bit of adjusting I found the biscuit recipe I have been looking for all the years. This recipe will make about 35 biscuits


2 cups of plain flour

1/2 cup of rice flour

1/2 cup of icing sugar

250g of softened butter cut into cubes (must be room temperature)


1. preheat oven to 170 deg celcius (180deg C.  if not fan forced).

2. line 2 baking trays with baking paper and get all ingredients ready.


3. sift the flour, rice flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl


4. add the butter and then using your hands rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms a dough.

5. tip dough onto a lightly floured  surface (or silicon baking mat) and knead for about 2 mins until the dough comes together  and is smooth


6. lightly flour a rolling pin and roll dough out to about 5mm thick.


7. use your biscuit cutters to cut biscuits out and place on baking trays. Continue until all dough is used


8. lightly sprinkle castor sugar over all biscuits


9. place in the oven on the middle shelves and baking for 12mins or until goldern brown. (sometimes the bottom tray may need a little longer)

10. remove bisuits from oven and allow to cool on tray for 5mins before transfering to wire racks (very important otherwise biscuits may crumble)


11. Enjoy (or decorate and then enjoy)!!!


Helpful Hints:

1. These are soy free and egg free but not dairy free. I am yet to find a substitution to replace the butter that tastes any good.

2. make sure your butter is at room tempreture before starting.

3. these biscuits can burn very easily so keep a close eye on the. If the biscuits are not ready at twelve minutes put back infor 2 minutes and if needed 2 more minutes. 



When your world is turned upside down!

What do you do when your life is suddenly turned completely upside down? Do you run and hide, stress out about everything, panic about how you are going to manage, worry about all things unknown then race about trying to have everything perfectly organised so you feel in control? Or do you sit back, take one step at a time, gradually work out all the details in a relax manner and more of all enjoy the journey ahead.

Twelve months ago when we discovered we were suddenly moving to Sydney I was certainly the former. After the initial tears and shock, I began to stress about the move. Where were we going to live? Where would we go to church? Where was I going to work? Would we get the girls into daycare and where? What about school for the following year? What about Miss Rapunzel's therapy? How on earth would we (well at least me) manage to live in the city? I was a mess. Even after rushing about getting everything organised I was a mess inside. I really don't like change especially when I was not control.

One thing this year has taught me though is not matter how well you plan things out, have everything organised, it doesn't mean that it will actually work out that smoothly. I thought I had everything organised before we moved – work, daycare, school, therapy. But on arrival everything fell apart. Nothing worked out how I had planned. You could only imagine how stressed out that made me. The journey this year took me on, us on, was very different to what I had planned twelve months ago.

This year was also the year our family decided to journey back to the simple things in life. As the year went on and I focused more on our family I discovered that it didn't matter how organised I had things or tried to control things it doesn't mean that it will happen that way. I certainly wasn't going to waste so much time and energy stressing about everything…. that was time and energy I could put into my family. Instead I would do my part to be disciplined and organised, making the necessary arrangements, and then enjoy the journey ahead. I had learnt to put my trust in God once again, how we wants us to.

Well, last weekend our world got completely turned upside down again. All of a sudden we have another move on our hands. But unlike last year this time we only have about 3 maybe 4 weeks to prepare for it. And do you know what? I am not stressed out at all. I have made the decision to sit back and enjoy the journey before us. I have learnt to trust that God has it all in control. He has the path laid out for us and all we have to do is trust and obey Him.

Is everything perfectly worked out yet? Well no, there is still so much that needs to be organised but the essentials are getting there – work for my darling husband (that is why we are moving), school for Miss Rapunzel who is due to start next year. We still need a place to live, but that is a work in progress and I know will happen. And then there is Rapunzel's therapy – but her therapists in Sydney are putting things together that will help carry us for a few months so we have time to sort it out.

But one thing for certain is I am so much more relaxed about this move. I have certainly taken the later approach to this unexpected change we are about to encounter. I plan to do everything possible to make sure that our family enjoys this journey ahead. Life is so precious you don't want to waste time and energy stressing about what might happen or how you want things to happen. Instead you want to enjoy the journey and look out for all the unexpected pleasures that might arise along to way.

So sit back, trust God and enjoy the journey you have ahead!


Chloe Sunhat – Pattern give away.

I am very excited as I have finished my first official crochet pattern for a hat I designed. But before I finalize everything I want to have people test the pattern out to make sure it works, it fits and that the pattern is easy to read.

I am looking for two testers for every size. I think the level would be advance beginner ( will see what the testers think!). It involves reading a written pattern (no graph) and the following stitches: chain (ch), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc) and slip stitch. The smaller sizes can be done in an evening, the adult hats took me two (about 4 hours)

So how can you be involved?

To be involved you need to

1. go to the Dancing Daffodils FaceBook page and like (if you haven't already). Then comment on this post specifying what size you would like to test. If you are not on Facebook (and don't want to sign up), then all you have to do is subscribe to Dancing Daffodils and comment on the post below.

2. You will need 8ply cotton yarn (or cotton/acrylic blend), 4.00mm ( ) and 3.5mm (  – however this is optional and only needed for 2 rows at the brim). You will need 50g of yarn for the preemie to toddle hats, and 100g for the child to adult hat (the large adult hat may need 150g depending on how many meters the ball has)

3. You need to complete the hat within the next 2 weeks and be able to try it on to check for size (so make sure you have someone who can try it on when you specify size!!!).

4. You then need to email me and let me know how it went, and if possible a picture so I can see your wonderful work (full details will be sent in the email)

5. As a thank you will receive a finalized copy of the pattern you tested for free!

sizes options:

Preemie = head circumference – 32cm (12 1/2 inches)

Newborn = head circumference – 35cm (13 1/2 inches)

3-6months = head circumference – 40cm (15 1/2 inches)

6-12months = head circumference – 44cm (17 inches)

Toddler = head circumference – 48cm (18 1/2 inches)

Preschooler = head circumference – 50cm (19 1/2 inches)

Child =  head circumference – 53cm (21 inches)

Teen/small adult = head circumference – 56cm (22 inches)

Large Adult = head circumference – 59cm (23 1/2 inches)


My Bendy Body – book review

A few weeks ago we (very excitedly) received our copy of "My Bendy Body"  written by Michelle O'Sullivan. Michelle is an Australian occupational therapist that specialises in the Hypermobility Syndromes.

My Bendy Body is a picture book that talks about how living with joint hypermobility syndrome (or Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) impacts on the lives of children. It does it in a way of explaining how even though "I" might not be able to do things like all other kids "I" can still do many of those things if we change them a little and "I" can have a rest. So it is not about the "I can't" but the "I can". Something that all children with special needs need.

The book is aimed at preschoolers and infant primary school children. It is a great way for these young children share about the condition when they don't have the words on how to explain it. It is a great resource for all children with Hypermobility Syndrome and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome to be able to share with their family, friends, preschools, schools and groups.

I recommend any parents, family member, teacher or friend who has a child that has a child that has been diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome or Ehlers Danlos Syndrome to get a copy of this book so you can get a better understanding of how these conditions affects the life of these children. It is a fun and easy way to share with the world more about these conditions.

Copies of My Bendy Body can be purcahsed here


I have no affliation with this book. I just think it is a great resource for those experiencing life with children who have joint Hypermobility Syndrome and Ehlers Danlos Syndomre. Especially when these conditions are not very well known.


A more discipled life – habit training

The habits of the child

produces the

character of the man.

~ by Charlotte Mason

Even though I haven't been on here for the last few days, I haven't forgot about the 21 day challenge to a more discipline life. Between visitors, dance rehersals and appointments I really haven't had a chance to stop and read any more of the book. But I am happy to say I have continued with the discipline challenge. And what a difference it is making. Those simple steps of spending just 20minutes every night getting organised for the next day has made the world of difference, especially in this busy week. We have been out the door early every time, the house has stayed organised and we are all calmer. It is great.

This morning I finally had a chance for some quiet time before the girls woke (doesn't happen very often!). I read some more of the challenge. Today was all about habit training. When you really stop and think about it, being disciplined is really just about forming lots of little habits that you do every day without thinking. Think about some really simple tasks you do everyday…. brushing your teeth, brushing your hair…. you do these everyday without really thinking about it. Years and years of doing them every day have made them a habit.

Now think of your kids, espcially young kids. How many times do you have to remind them, or take them to do these two simple tasks. Most days…. everyday….. they haven't yet developed the habit of doing these tasks everyday. As a parent you need to remind them and help them daily to remember to do these tasks. In a few short years it will become habit for them and they will do it automatically just like you and me. 

Have a think about what other tasks are habits for you….. making your morning coffee…… reading before bed…… watching certain TV shows…… how you put your socks on…… how you tie your shoelaces……. even they way you drive to the shops……. you often actually think about these tasks. You just do them and probably do them the same way every time. You have done it for so long that way that it has formed a habit. It is formed a set pathway in the brain to make it automatic. But that took time, doing it over and over again until you get to the point you where you don't need to think about it.

Being disciplined is about forming habits that you do everyday to make your life smooth and easy. You don't think about habits and it will come to a point where you don't need to think about being disciplined because it will be a habit (I'm looking forward to that day!). It means not having to think about putting your shoes away when you take them off, hanging the keys on the key holder, putting the dishes in the dishwasher rather than leaving them in the sink, packing books/toys away when finshed….. How great does that sound.

The one thing that really struck me this morning was about habit training our kids. Here I am trying to develop a more disciplined life, so why not take our girls along for the ride at the same time. Teaching them to live a disciplined life as a child sets them up for live a disciplined and productive life as an adult. It helps to build their character.

I'm not going to race in with a list a mile long of habits I want them to form. I am just going to take it one step at a time. It will take effort, it will take time, but just remember the goal of this challenge….. to live a more disciplined life.




Granny Square Crochet Square – Centre Flower Square

This spring I had the opportunity to be involved in a granny square Crochet swap. Each person made 37 x 6 inch squares. We could pick any colour or pattern as long as it represented spring for us. We then sent it into the coordinator who is in the process of sorting through the suqares and distributing them back to us.

Originally we had 36 people in the group so we would get 36 different squares back. The last squares was being used to make a blanket to donate to charity. I should be receiving the squares back this week. I am really excited about about seeing the variety of squares that people send back and how they interpret spring.

I think the hardest part of the project was deciding which square to do. I needed something that won't take too long to make but was bright and cheerful. I didn't want to do the traditional granny square as we had quite a few beinngers in the group and they were doing this. I also wanted to create a new design. So this is what I created. It was really easy to make and only took about 20minutes for each square.



small amount of 8ply yarn/wool in two different colours (overall it took about 80g of yellow and 250g of pink\ to make the 37 squares)

4.0mm crochet hook


This pattern is worked in one directions so do not turn.



with centre colour (yellow)

row 1: 12 sc into magic ring (alternatively chain 6 and sl st into first ch, 12 sc into ring), sl st into first sc

row 2: *ch 15, sl st into next sc*, repeat around for each sc, sl st into first sl st. Fasten off (make sure you don't twist the chain

row 3: using outer colour (pink), attach to centre of any 15 ch space using a sc, ch 4, sc into  next 15 ch space, ch 4, * 2DC into next 15ch sp, ch 4, 2DC into same 15ch sp, ch 4, sc into next 15 ch space, ch 4, sc into next 15ch space *, repeat * three (3) times, however on the last sc, sl st into first sc.

row 4: ch 1, sc into space, ch 2, 2 DC into same space, ch 4, * DC into next sp, ch 4, 3DC into next space, ch 4, 3DC into same space, ch 4, DC into next space, 3DC in next space, ch 4*, repeat * twice, DC into next sp, ch 4, 3DC into next space, ch 4, 3DC into same space, ch 4, DC into next space, ch 4, sl st into top ch

row 5: sl st into next DC, 5DC into space, sl st into DC, 5DC into space, sk DC, sl st into DC, sk DC, * 8DC into corner space, sk DC, sl st into DC, sk DC, 5DC into space, sl st into DC, 5DCinto space, sk DC, sl st into DC, sk DC, 5DC into space, sl st into DC, 5DC into space, sk DC, sl st into DC, sk DC * repeat *  twice (2) (edges), 8 DC into corner space, sk DC, sl st into DC, sk DC, 5Dc into space, sl st in DC, 5DC into space, sl st into first sl st. Fasten off.

The square becomes very bunched up when being crochet so give it a good stretch out in all directions (even a warm iron can help). Weave in the ends.



At first I know tha pattern seems really confusin, but after one or two squares you get the hang of it . I actually made all the centre pieces first then did the outer section. Saved me changing yarn every 10minutes.

When I ge the rest of the squares back I'll show you what I plan to do with the blanket.


Kids being seen but not heard.

When I was out doing the yesterday something really caught my attention. Every time I walked passed a pram where toddlers and preschoolers were sitting, or passed cafes where they were having morning tea the kids were sitting very still and quiet. And I mean really still and quiet, and absolutely absored in what they were doing. Not a peep, no climbing out. Nothing. They were just quiet and still, completely oblivious to what was going on around them.

Down the next isle I heard a toddler starting to tantrum because he wanted something and he was told no. The next thing he was completely quiet. Dead silent… As I turned down the isle I noticed why…. just like what seemed to be every other toddler and preschooler that morning they were playing with the iPhone.

Wow. It really got me thinking just how techno savvy these young kids are today. You could see just how easily they could navigate their way around the smart phone or iPhone. 

I don't even have to look any further than our house where our two and half year old, Miss Minnie, knows exactly how to navigate her way aorund my iPad, and has been able to get to the movies since 18months old! I guess the kids of today just know no different. For many of them they do not know life without these wonderful devices that can entertain everyone for hours.

I guess what really got to me that day wasn't how well kids could navigate their way around the devices, but how quickly parents pulled out the smart phone or iPad as soon as the kids started to complain or get into things. What are we using these tools for? Is it just to keep our kids quiet so we can get on with our busy lives. Or is for educational purposes?

I just couldn't believe how many children I saw that day sitting in their prams being entertained by an electronic device. And every time I heard one complain or start to grizzle or start touching things the first thing parents seemed to do was pull out the electronic device to keep them quiet.

It started me thinking. What are we teaching our kids these days? or not teaching? Shopping is such a wonderful time teach kids so much whilst having some fun…. communication skills on how to interact with other each other, other shoppers, shop keepers…. manners when we purchase items or ask for assistance….. obedience of doing as asked and not touching things…… patience whilst we wait in line for our turn or not being allowed to purchase something straight away….. problem solving skills and maths skills when working out how much things cost and how much we can spend…. literacy skills when reading signs and packages….. perceptual skills of finding items, finding our way around the shopping centers (a huge effort for this country girl trying to manage in the world of Westfield)…. memory skills of remembering where we parked the car….. you can teach them numbers, colours, letters, matching, difference….. the list is endless. And it doesn't have to be boring. Shopping can be so much fun for a toddler and preschooler when they are challenged with little tasks along the way.

But are we too busy rushing from one job to another because our lives so busy (I have certainly had days like that)? Are we too busy, too exhausted and does it require too much effort to use this time teach our kids some important life skills? Is it just easierto keep our kids quiet so we can concetrate and get the job done quickly? Are we going back to the age old tradition that kids should be seen and not heard?

I think it is such a shame to see that the world of technology is creeping into every part of the lives of these young children and at such an early age. They have so much to learn in this exciting big world. Everything is a new and wonderful adventure. It is our responsibility as a parent to take their hand and lead them through these adventures…. even this simple adventure of shopping. So why are so many of us stealing these wonderful opportunities away from them? 

Now don't get me wrong. I think iPads, Tablet computers and Smart phones are brilliant devices. I have used them endlessly during my therapy sessions when working as a paediatric occupational therapist. I used it heaps with Little Miss Rapunzel as part of her therapy programs and getting her ready for school. And I've used with Miss Minnie to compliment teaching her how to do mazes, learn colours and shapes and now her ABCs. I even saw wonderful story on 60minutes the other night on how the iPad is being used to unlock the communication world for people with Autism;mothers are now able to communicate with their children for the first time in 25years.

I just wonder if we sometimes rely on them too much these days to entertain our kids so we don't have to? so we can keep on with our busy lives?

Please don't think there haven't been times when I have used the iPad to keep my girls settled – sitting waiting at specialist appointments (they never run on time!), that long car trip, even Saturday morning when they have woken up really earyl (yet again!). But it has certainly opened my eyes as to just how much I will be using it a baby sitter in the future!