Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chocolate cupcakes - healthy and easy version

Chocolate cupcakes, warm out of the oven so good with a cup of tea or coffee to warm you up. So good right now for the unusual really cold May weather Melbourne is experiencing .

The issue for our household is my little boy is allergic to eggs, the common ingredient in most cakes. So I was very happy when I found a recipe in the most recent edition of Better Homes and Gardens for a healthier version of chocolate cupcakes (well they say they are muffins but I think they are more like cupcakes) - instead of using egg you add mashed pumpkin. Sounds odd but delicious.

So how to make them? Simple, just buy a packet of chocolate cake mix and add to the mix two cups of mashed pumpkin and stir until smooth. Put the mixture into cupcake casings or a muffin tin and cook at 200 for 20 minutes.

The kids and hubby and I loved them. Plus it was a fun family activity making them. It will be even better when we get our kitchen and surrounding family space back! On this, the plasterer says he will be finished tomorrow so hope I have some images to share later this week.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

To Move or not to move?

Is staying in the house while renovating a good idea or would it be better to move out?

Obviously in some cases there is no choice. On one side the renovation could be so extensive that you are forced to move out and on the other the budget might be so stretched that having to pay rent elsewhere is too difficult and there is no options for staying rent free with family or friends for a long period.

Building cubbies in kids bedroom as distraction

So what to do if you do have the choice? I got to thinking about this after reading an article earlier this week on Domain about a family that did stay in the house. The comments that followed were very interesting.

I then got asked by a neighbour on Friday about our decision to stay, especially when we have two young kids. In our case we have no parents here in Melbourne to stay with as some of my friends have done and we decided that the amount of rent we would have to pay to be in the neighbourhood and out of the house for at least six months was just a little too much.

And well it has been an experience and the week coming up is probably going to be one of the hardest. Thus far:
  • We went without a shower in the house for nine weeks (we thought it would be three) while we converted the family bathroom to an ensuite.
  • During this period hubby and I slept on a sofa bed in the lounge and the hallway between the bedrooms was out of bounds for the kids, which ended up meaning my daughter slept in the lounge with me (she got scared) and hubby slept in the bedroom with my son, not ideal.
  • We now are living in the front of the house while we do our back extension, so all our furniture is squashed into two bedrooms, a lounge and the hall.
  • The kitchen is being covered with plastic almost every day now, just a bit annoying.
  • The mess is amazing inside the house and the mud outside and pile of builders waste in the back garden has made it out of bounds for the kids.
  • And at times the tension is very high, the builders have heard me yell (well more to the point loose it) and seen me in my slippers and PJs at 7am.
Getting out as much as possible

The past week has been even harder with the plasterer here working not only in the back area but in the kids current bedroom and the weather has been freezing and wet so going to the park is not an option. This week the plasterer is sanding and ripping down and replacing old cornice in the kitchen so we have now been told to move everything out of the kitchen which we were just covering. (I think takeaway or visits to friends might be in order).

So as you can imagine the part of the house we are living in is getting more and more cluttered and I keep tripping over stuff. I hate clutter!

But by the end of this week things should improve dramatically, well that's what I keep telling myself.

And though it has been a nightmare at times I am glad I am here in my own house and seeing it all unfold around me. Would I do it again? Not sure ask me in another couple of months when it is all over.

So back to miving things around again. Hope you are having a good weekend.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A drive in the country for garden ideas

A jaunt to the country, well in this case the outer Melbourne area of Warrandyte, (so not really country but fresh air, orchards, rolling hills and a river) was great for inspiration, relaxation and just getting out of Melbourne a little.A visit to a local orchard and after seeing these fruit bins think we will be heading back soon to buy some fruit to use as herb and vegetable planter boxes.

Also love this setting and beautiful deciduous trees for Autumn colour...

And to add to this can't go past a visit to an Antique store, this one in the main street of Warrandyte even has a gorgeous rustic entrance.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Is that a room I see......

First paint coat on the extension

It has been a good three weeks since the last post and I haven't even had the chance to follow what is going on other blogs, so to that next.

So where have I been, well struggling with a bad back and frozen shoulder, both which are aggravated by being on the computer. For this reason I had to dedicate all my computer time to my paid work.

Surprisingly while I have been away not much obviously has happened in terms of the build until this week with the arrival of the plasterer, arriving three weeks after the carpenters / builders had finished what they could.

We in the mean time had started painting the external weatherboard an off white, our electrician did more work and insulation went in.

And then Tuesday the plasterer arrived. What a difference a bit of plasterboard makes, it is starting to look like actual rooms.....

Pity about the board still covering the missing pane of glass - come on Stegbar, what about some service!

Now I would put up pictures of the bedrooms and bathroom but seriously they just look like boxes at the moment.

So this week the plasterer will put in the cornices and finish off. I can't wait as we can then clean all the mess (something I am a little over) and use the space more again.

But tomorrow I am hopefully going to forget about the build for a day and spend it with my family. My daughter tells me she has some lovely surprises for me.

And to my Mum and all the other Mums out there hope you have a great mothers day tomorrow.


Related Posts with Thumbnails