Day 4- It’s time for bed!

I don't know about you but for me this is one area where I really lack discipline. My nights are usually my chance to get that craft project started or finished, to read that book, write my blog, unload items to my shop. Just one more row… just one more chapter… Just one more item….. I get so absorbed in what I am doing that I loose track of time and before I know it it is midnight?

The result is a tired, grumpy mummy, who feels guilty because it is all self inflicted. Every time I do it I tell myself that I won't do that again…. But I do. Time and time again. Last night was the perfect example. Will I ever learn???

Guess what?  it all comes back  to being disciplined. Disciplined enough to say stop it's time for bed. Disciplined enough to not start something if I don't have the time to do it or do it properly despite how much I really want to do it. Disciplined enough to get myself organised so I have the time to do it.

It is amazing how discipline is the key to making life simple and giving us more time to enjoy the simple things in life..

Day 3 – Set Backs. Time to start small.

Today I have learnt the importance of being disciplined. Last night I got side tracked working on my 2013 diary. I just sat down other couch working on the laptop thinking  I would just working on it for an hour and then get sorted for today…. Well. Before I knew it 3 hours had past (because I just kept telling myself next set of adds and I'll finish up) and it was now 11:30pm! Way past time for bed considering the girls wake up at 6:30. I thought to myself, "ok we only have swimming tomorrow morning and the kitchen is tidy, the house is tidy I'll just get ready in the morning"

So much for being disciplined and being organized the night before!

Well this morning I realized that I had a bit more to do than just get us out the door for swimming….. Washing to hang out, a parcel to wrap and send off this morning, swimming bags to pack, morning tea to pack, dishwasher to unpack, beds to make, wheelchair to get out of the car, pram to get sorted … Hmmm maybe leaving everything 'till this morning was not such a good idea after all.

Maybe I had made the task too big. I have a habit of doing that. I am someone who plans big things and become quite impatient trying to everything now. maybe I need to slow down and start off with just one thing and not try to organise  my whole life in one hit.

Then reading over day three this is exactly what Clair had to say. If you make the task too big you easily become overwhelmed, struggle to continue and not follow through.

So I have broken my evening tasks down
1. Get bags ready
2. Get clothes ready
3. Check bread and milk (put bread on if needed)
4. Put washing on if needed (I love time delays settings on the washing machine)

Surely that won't be too difficult to do, especially since it is something I use to always do.

So have have you gone with becoming more disciplined? have you stuck with your one task and followed through? If so that is wonderful. Keep up the great work.

If you are more like me and already stumbled. Don't give up. Just start again right now. Go and do your task. If it is too big make it smaller. And take it one step and one day at a time. 

Honey Mustard Chicken Parcels

Here is a recipe my daughters love!!!!

It came about as my husband really likes Chicken Vol au vents, but like most commercial products, the vol-au-vent pastry casings have soy in them (what doesn't these days). So I had to be creative to make something that Miss Minnie could also have. I have made the vol-au-vent casings in the past but I had to make the puff pastry from scratch as I am yet tot find one that is soy free….. way too time consuming to do on a regular basis.

Whilst visiting my in-laws, my mother-in-law told me about a filo pastry that was soy free. And it just so happened that that night she was cooking vol-au-vents…. excellent let's see if it will work. And it did. My girls just love them and so does Brett!!!!

What is even better they are so easy to make….

I do have to say this is the recipe my mother-in-law taught me. I have made a few modifications along the way. But she was the one who taught me – I had never had vol-au-vents until she made them for me!


(just soy free – see below for a dairy free alternative)

1 packet of filo pastry (check the ingredients if you have allergies) – I used about 16 sheets

2 x chicken breast (or 500g) diced

1 x medium brown onion diced

300ml of thickened cream

2 tbls of corn flour

2 x cloves of garlic crushed (I use 2 tsp of already crushed garlic)

2 tbls of whole grain mustard

3/4 cup of broccoli florets (cut quite small)

spray sunflower oil (or vegetable/canola oil)  OR melted butter for the filo pastry



1. remove filo pastry from the fridge and bring to room temperature as per directions on the packet. this will ensure it doesn't crack (well too much!) Preheat oven to 180 deg cel (or 350 deg F)

2. spray a medium saucepan with cooking oil (we use sunflower oil)

3. place saucepan over a medium heat on the stove and let it heat for a few minutes

4. add crush garlic and onions – sautee until transparent (reduce the heat if you need to)

5. add diced chicken breast and cook until brown

6. add broccoli, whole grain mustard and thickened cream.

7. bring to the boil and them simmer for 5 minutes letting it reduce slightly

8. mix cornflour with a light water to form a smooth paste and add to the saucepan stirring constantly until thickened (add a little water if it thickens really quickly).

9. remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool whilst you prepare the filo pastry.

10. line a large baking tray with baking paper

11. remove filo pastry from wrap but make sure you keep it covered to prevent drying out.

12. lay one sheet of filo pastry down on a clean flat surface (i usually use my cookie sheet for this) and spray with oil (or brush with melted butter)

13. lay another sheet of filo pastry on top and smooth out.

14. repeat steps 12 and 13 with two more sheets of pastry (4 in total)

15. cut pastry into quarters.

16. spoon 2 tbls of chicken mixture into the middle of the pastry and then fold each corner of the pastry into the centre pressing together to make a parcel.

17. place parcel on a baking tray.

18. repeat with other squares.

19. repeat steps 12-18 with remaining pastry and mixture. I usually get 12-16 parcels.

20. lightly spray parcels with oil and then place trays in oven for for 10mintues and cook until golden brown. Keep a close eye on them as they can burn easily.

21. remove and serve with either salad or mashed potato.




Dairy Free alternative:

– replace the 300ml of thickened cream with either

        – 300ml of rice milk and use 2.5-3tbls of cornflour


        – 300ml of chicken stock and 2/5-3tbls of cornflour



you can add all sorts of ingredients to the mix…. mushrooms, carrot, corn…. the list is endless.



Day 1 towards a more disciplined life – Little ones are always watching

Well I did it… I made it through day 1. And wow what a difference it made… it is amazing how such a small thing could make such a difference.

What made such a difference you're asking? For those who missed yesterday's post, I have started on a 21 day challenged on making my life more disciplined. Our year so far has been crazy and overwhelming…. such a far cry from our plan of getting back to the simple things in life. Well parts of our life have taken that journey… they way we do some things and the way we look at life; we certainly appreicate the simple things in life a lot more. But somewhere along the way I lost my rountine, my organisational skills, my discipline. And as the year progressed even further and further the more I wanted it back but the more overwhelming it seemed.

As I reflected today I also thought about how disciplined I was as a mother when little Miss Rapunzel was a baby…. always organised the day before, packed away toys immediately before getting more out, housework done and sorted. Even last year things were not too bad. As a result the girls followed suit. They would keep their rooms tidy (well the best they could at that age), put toys away, and behaviour was great. One thing that has also happened this year was they have becomed less disciplined as I have becomed less disciplined. Their rooms were messy, they would pull all the toys out before packing others away, they developed some less than desireable attitudes….

Now it is not neuroscience. We all know kids learn from watching those around them. They always come up to the standard that is set before them…. well I certainly needed to pick up my game. We are responsible for teaching them how to live a disciplined life. And how can I expect them to do that if I don't…….. well that has been a big wake up call for me. I need to get on track and I need to do it now.

So today is a new day. God gave me the strength and energy to start again.

Now i didn't race in and try to do everything. I set my goal (just like Crystal suggested in her book) and I did it. I did the ironing (last nigth), I got organised the night before, I tidy things away before bed and I got up slightly earlier this morning so I could be ready before the girls got up. And wow what a difference it made…. The day was relaxing, the girls were calm and well behaved. And I got to make heaps of new things to sell in my shop….

I can't wait to read more tonight and plan what tomorrow might have install!!!! 

Now to go and get ready for tomorrow!


If you are interested in doing the 21 day Challenge, check our "21 days to a more disciplined life by Crystal Paine" You won't regret it! I have no affliation with book or author. I am purely inspired by her word and want to share them with you.


Changing my ways….

As those who have followed me from the start of my blog a few weeks ago you would know that I set up Dancing Daffodils as a way to share our journey to refocusing our life on the simple things in life. Over the last few years our life had just snowballed it a busy not stop rat race of running from one thing to another… something I am sure so many parents would totally understand from when they transitioned from a life as a couple to life as a family. Our focus was on doing life not living life and making the most of everything, including the little blessings God places along our path.

Looking back over this year I guess the reason I set up Dancing Daffodils was to keep me focused and accountable to others as we travelled this journey. Accountable to others so that I did continue along the road to the simple things in life and not once again let the busyness of life take over.

But to be honest the busyness of life has certainly captured us once again. You only have to sit in my lounge room at the moment and see the mess that lay before me; the clothes on the clothes airer waiting to be folded and put away; the basket of ironing underneath the ironing board pleading with me to straighten so we can once again enjoy wearing those clothes; the pile of almost finished projects sitting on the ironing waiting to be completed (and then maybe I could iron the clothes); the piling of dishes sitting on the bench waiting to be cleaned…… the list just goes on and on.

Last night I had to take little Miss Rapunzel up to the emergency department (she is home and ok – just experiencing side effects to a medication she is on). We were there for a few hours sitting around waiting for test results and medication to work. Whilst Miss Rapunzel sat back and watched the TV I just stopped and thought about the year we have had. The year where we were suppose to get back to the simple life…. the life of less stress…. better health….. feeling on top of things. Well it certainly has been any other than that this year.

From the outset challenges awaited us. This time last year we thought we had everything sorted out for the big move…. we had a house, therapy was sorted, specialists were sorted, work was sorted. Everything had fallen into place….. only for everything to fall apart when we moved (well not the house at least). 9 months on and only now are things sorted out. It has been mentally, emotionally and physically draining – and for those with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (& Ehlers Danlos Syndrome) you would totally understand how extra exhausting it has been; how right now I just want to curl up in a little ball in the corner and hide away for the next few weeks to just get the energy back. But I can’t. Life will just keep on going.

I also wonder just what had happened since this time last year…. I was working 2 days and managed to keep on top of everything (most of the time), had a great routine with the girls and we did heaps of fun things. Yes, things were beginning to get very busy but on the whole I managed a lot better than this year….. Yet this year things should have been easier. I wasn’t working… so I should have been able to manage.

On going to bed late last night I did a quick check of my emails and something caught my attention…. a book “21 days to a more disciplined life” by  Crystal Paine. It had only just been released in the last few days….. could that be my issue? Could that be what has happened this year? With all the interruptions this year, with everything that has gone on and by not working have I become less disciplined? Have I become so overwhelmed by it all that I always think I will start tomorrow? But tomorrow never seems to come. The more I pondered about it, the more it rings true. My journey to the simple life has certainly derailed because I have failed to keep my discipline on track. I have let so many interruptions get in the way of what should have been our year of bringing back life’s simplicities…. I have made our life more complex.

No chart, no downloaded routine, no book about how to be better organised and use my time wisely is going to be able to change where our life is right now. There is only one way that I can do that and it starts with me. I need to change. I need to change where I focus my energy; I need to change how I do things, when I do things; I need to become more disciplined in my life so we can enjoy the simple way of life.

So today I start things new. I know with God’s help and guidance I will change my life so I can be a blessing to the life of those around me. Today I am starting my 21 day challenge to a more disciplined life…… how about you ???????

(you can download the book from here)

Cake tower

Rapunzel Birthday Party – Part 3

The Cake


So here is the cake I made for Little Miss Rapunzel's birthday party.

Now my cake decorating skills are completely self taught through the use of the internet. I have never taken a course or studied cake decorating at all. But mind you that may change as I have had so much fun making birthday cakes for our girls over the last few years!

Anyway. Miss Rapunzel wanted a Tangled Tower cake for her birthday and I had no idea how I was going to do it. But with a bit of research, looking at some pictures and of course watching the movie I decided to give it a go. I did it over a few nights.

So look no further, here is how you do it so you can make one too!


1 x rectangle birthday cake – we used a soy and dairy free dense chocolate cake that was about 20cm x 30cm x 5cm (8” x 12” x 2”)

1 x 20cm tall cylinder (about 7cm diameter). Needs to be quite solid to hold icing – we used a travel tissue container

2 x A4 sheet of cardboard (not too thick because you need to roll it)

1 x batch of sugar cream icing (see recipe below)

3 x ready to roll fondant icing (about 1.5kg – you may more or less depending on how big the cake is)

1 x set of food dies (I just had the standard red, yellow, blue and green)

1 x packet of silver icing balls

1 x Rapunzel figurine set (purchased on eBay)

Sticky tape


Cake board

Piping bags and nozzles

  1. Creating the tower: (this is what we did. Adjust the measurements to suit you)


    1. Tower point: Using the A4 cardboard make a cone to sit on top of the cylinder to create the point in the tower. Do this by drawing a circle and making a cut in it on one side to the centre. Then roll the circle by sliding one straight edge under the other until it is the correct size to sit one top of the cylinder overhanging the edge slightly.
    2. Top Room: This part is a bit fiddly so you can eliminate it and just create the top room using the icing. I’ll do my best to explain how I did it.


      1. Cut a rectangle piece of cardboard 5-7cm longer than the circumference of the cylinder by 14cm.
      2. Draw a line 1.5cm up from the bottom of long edge.
      3. Draw another line 2.5cm above this.
      4. Fold the bottom of the rectangle along the bottom line. Turn the page over and fold it along the other line (giving you a zig zag or fan effect).
      5. Unfold and cut from the bottom of the page to the second line every 1.5 – 2cm creating flaps along the bottom
      6. Cut along the bottom line of the two outside flaps
      7.  Now for the tricky part. You need to wrap the rectangle around the cylinder with only the bottom parts of the flaps securing to the cylinder. The folds you made before will allow the top part of the flaps to sit out from the cylinder in an upwards direction and the larger part of the rectangle forming a slightly larger cylinder at the top. Use sticky tape to secure in place. Don’t stress if it looks really messy as the icing will cover it up.

This is how it should look.


  1. Colouring the icing:


    1. open two packets of the ready to roll fondant icing and break into a total of 10 smaller balls. Wrap each one in cling wrap and keep it wrapped when you are not using it otherwise it will dry out. Using the colour chart make each ball a different colour. I did:

                  – dark purple (roof)

                  – beige (top room of tower)

                  – dark brown (wood features on top room, bottom door, windows and some pebbles in the path)

                 – 3 x more lighter shades of brown (adjust the colours as you go until to get to what you like

                – dark green (for vines around tower)

               – 3 x small amount for flowers (pink, yellow and blue)

                   How much you use for each will vary depending on your design and size

  1. open the third packet of icing and create light green for covering the cake.


  1. Icing the tower:


    1. Top room: roll out the beige fondant into a rectangle large enough to go around the top room and down the sides. This doesn’t have to be perfect so that it gives the stone effect.
    2. Tower walls: I created the pebble effect by rolling small balls of brown fondant and pressing it flat on the side. Using a different colour each time and making sure that it is pushed up against the previous one. It doesn’t matter what shape the “pebble makes” just try and place a different shade next to it where possible. You will probably need a small amount of water on the cylinder to help secure it. When you reach the top smooth it into the beige.
    3. Wood features: roll out the dark brown fondant icing and cut out the different features for the tower (windows, doors, wood beams etc). Secure using a small amount of water         
    4. Vines and flowers: roll long “snakes” out of dark green to create vines and press into place. Roll tiny dark green leaves and press into place. Make tiny balls of pink, yellow and blue for the flowers. Press into place then add a small silver ball into the centre.
    5. Tower top: cover the cone in purple “tiles”. I did this by creating small squares and rectangles of similar size (approx 1.5 -2cm) and layering them in rings starting from the bottom. Making sure each row overlapped the row below slightly. You made a little bit of water to help secure, but I didn’t. Just make sure it only goes underneath the tiles otherwise you will end up with water marks. I used a light brown to the very top of the tower because I ran out of purple.
    6. Create extra “flowers” out of pink, blue and yellow with silver balls in the middle and set aside. These will go on the cake itself.
    7. When both a finished place the Tower cone on top of the tower and set aside overnight to set.


  1. Decorating the cake:


    1. Have to cake at room temperature
    2. Place cake in the middle of the cake board
    3. On a lightly floured board (corn starch or icing sugar – sparingly) roll out the light green fondant so it is larger enough to fit over the cake and down the sides.
    4. Roll the fondant onto the rolling pin and place it over the cake (see here for some great directions on how to cover a cake with fondant icing)
    5. Once the light green is smooth, get the tower and push into down into the cake where you want to position it. It may take a bit of fiddling to get it to sit in the right spot. Make sure you press down hard enough so it sits straight and stays put.
    6. Using a skewer or tooth pick, light mark out the path. Create the patht he same way as you created the pebbles on the tower wall.
    7. Make the buttercream icing and colour it dark green (similar colour to the vines).
    8. Position the figurines on the cake and secure with a dab of buttercream icing underneath.
    9. Place remaining buttercream icing in piping back, and using a star shape nozzle create “grass” by piping “dobs” of icing. I went around the bottom edge of the cake (to hide the bottom), around the bottom of the tower, along the side of the path, around some of the figurines and randomly on the cake.
    10. Add flowers randomly amongst the grass.

And that is it!!!! You have made a Tangled/Rapunzel birthday cake.



Helpful Hints:

  • Allow a few nights to make
  • Bake the cake a few days or even a week beforehand. Wrap it in cling wrap and freeze. This helps to make less crumbs.
  • Make sure you take the cake out of the freezer atleast 12hours beforehand to defrost otherwise it will cause watermarks on the icing.
  • Keep icing away from direct sunlight as it will fade (I learnt this the hard way!)

Rapunzel Birthday – Part 2

Games and Activities.

Last week I shared about Little MIss Rapunzel's 5th Birthday Party theme based on the movie Tangled. I showed you the invitations and decorations. The next step in planning was determining the activities and games. So how did we entertain 2-5 year olds for two hours?

After some free play time we started with "Hit Flynn with the frying pan".


Basically this is just a modified version of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey". I downloaded the Flynn Rider wanted poster and the frying pans below and printed them out. The poster was printed onto two A4 sheets to make it larger enough. I then cut out the frying pans and put each child's name on the back. Each child took turns to put the blind fold on (little Miss Minnie was cheating above!), was spun around three times and then they had to try and place the frying pan on Flynn's nose. The kids had a great time with it and my girls played with it for weeks to come.

Flynn Rider Wanted Poster

Frying Pans


Our next activtiy was to make Crowns – being a girls party they always love being creative. Mind you the boys really got into this one. We had crayons, pencils, and textas to colour them in and then had glitter pens and stick on gems for some bling!

Prince crown

Princess Crown


After something the eat the kids then went on a treasure hunt to find a present that Flynn had hidden in the garden for them. I just wrapped up little gifts for each of the kids (homemade hair clips for the girls and toy cars for the boys). The kids raced around the backyard trying to find the presents. That also gave us time to set up for the birthday cake.

After the cake Little Miss Rapunzel gave each of the kids a dancing wand that she help to make and then the kids went back outside to play. They spent ages dancing around the backyard with the wands. They boys even had a great time with them, but eventually turned them into fishing rods and all the kids got up onto the "castle" (play gym) and used them to go fishing in the moat…. very creative.


And that filled in our two hours…….

Gift Bags:

For gift bags Ayisha gave each child a little brown paper bag with a few more goodies in them. Origionally I wanted to make brown satchels like Flynn's but ran out of time.

Inside the bags we put:

– Bubbles

– A couple of balloons

– A Tangled colouring in book that we made up based on pictures we found on the internet – tangled colouring book downloadable


Enjoy planning your Tangled Birthday Party

Multigrain Bread

A few weeks back I posted our recipe for raisin bread and everybody loved it. So I thought I would give you our recipe for our everyday bread recipe…. multigrain bread. Just like the raisin bread, it is almost impossible to buy commercially made bread that is both soy and dairy free so we had to make our own. This is absolutely delicious and a nice healthy option for sandwiches. And you wouldn't even know that it was soy and dairy free!



375ml of water

2 teaspoons of oil ( we use sunflower but canola or vegetable oil work fine)

2 teaspoons of salt

2 teaspoons of sugar

500g of plain flour (or bakers flour)

150g of wholemeal flour (if you don't want to use this just add another 150g of plain flour)

1/3 cup of mixed grains

2 teaspoons of bread improver (be careful many have soy flour in them)

2 teaspoons of yeast.

spray oil



1. place ingredients in the bread pan as per manufactures directions adding the mixed grains just after the flour(s)

             – for our Breville the order is

  1. water
  2. oil
  3. salt
  4. sugar
  5. flour
  6. mixed grains
  7. bread improver
  8. yeast

2. set it for a dough cycle

3. lightly spray bread tin sunflower oil

4. when dough cycle is completed, remove dough and place directly into bread tin punching down slightly.

5. preheat oven to 200 deg cel, and let dough rise once more (for about 15mins). If you have a lid for your bread tin place on the tin leaving it open about 1/4 of the way

6. close lid and place in oven for 30mins

7. remove from oven and turn onto wire cake rack to cool…… or serve immediately for some lovely warm bread



Helpful hints:

– – Mixed grain mix:

our includes any combination of

  • Kibbled Wheat,
  • Kibbled Rye,
  • sunflower seeds,
  • pumpkin seeds, 
  • Linseed,
  • sesame seeds,
  • poppy seeds,
  • oats.

I usually have to purchase the grains individually (500g lots) and combine them in a container ready to just scoop out and add to the bread. Most prepackage grain mixes include soy products. So depending on what is available and what we feel like will determine what we add to our bread. You can also add any other grains you wish.

– if you don't like wholemeal flour, just replace it for total of 650g pf plain flour

– if you don't have a bread tin you can just finish the baking in the bread machine



More posts coming soon!

Wow! I can't believe it has been over a week since my last post. I was hoping to add posts most days. But between lots of visitors, dancing competitions and getting back in to the swing of the school term (preschool and therapy) the week has slipped away without me even noticing. I did however get a chance to make some more hair clips to add to the shop. My girls are so excited about their new assortment of hair accessories. They love picking out of the newly made clips which ones they can add to their collection…. I'm not sure how many more their storage box can hold?

I think the cutest ones were for the AFL grandfinal. Our little princesses asked for matching ribbons for their new Hawthorn Princess tops we gave for them to wear on the AFL grandfinal day (yes they follow Hawthorn Hawks just like their Daddy). Even little girls can get into the spirit of the game!














Now we are back into the swing of things I can get back into posting.


Here is a sneak peak at what else I have been making during the week.



Get your orders in now for Christmas!


Rapunzel Tangled Birthday Party part 1

This year little miss Rapunzel feel in love with the movie Tangled (hence her nickname). She loved the princess and her lovely long hair. Since this year was her turn for a birthday party we decided to have a Rapunzel/Tangled birthday theme. Leading up to her birthday we had a great time planning the games, food and gift bags, costumes, making the decorations, and of course watching Tangled.

After watching the movie (quite a few times… I think I can recite most of it now!) and browsing the internet we planned a great party. The kids had so much fun. 

The first thing we had to decide on was invitations. I love making peronsalised photocard invitations because (1) I get to be creative and can be customised to match perfectly with the party; and (2) it works out to be heaps cheaper than buying themed birthday invitations. Here is a sample of what we did (contact me if you would like some personalised for you)



Next were the decorations. We had three main decorations – the lanterns, purple flag buntings and Flynn Ryder wanted posters.


The lanterns we made out of white cardboard and printed the yellow sun on them. Little Miss Rapunzel then rolled and glued them to make a cylinder. I then punched holes in each side of the top and tied yellow yarn to make the handle which we could use to hang them up all around the house and yard. They are really easy to make and last very well. Little Miss Rapunzel still has them hanging up in her bedroom 6 months later.

You can find the print out I made here. lantern template


Next was the purple flag bunting. For this I cut out triangles with 6 inch (15 cm ) sides out of purple cardboard. I then punched two hole on one side and threaded them onto yellow yarn. We hung them above the windows and door frames, around the table and along the fences



The wanted posters were something I found on the internet. Unfortunately I cannot locate the exact site I found them on. But here they are.



Of course the birthday girl needs a costume. Originally I was going to make her a Rapunzel dress for her birthday but ran out of time. We fortunately found one at the deparment store. So all I added was the long hair. I made the hair peice by place two dining room chairs about 2.5m apart and then wrapped the yarn around the tops of the chairs (all 600m of it!!!!). I then fastened it with a peice of matching yarn to makesure it didn't separate. I made a loop in the middle that was large enough to fit snug around her head. I then plaited it (which took me about 1 hour!). It was the perfect length for her as it just reached the ground. Since then I have added some flowers to to it.


Check back over the next few days as I share about our games, gift bags and cake.


Some extra printable decorations I found: