Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!'s that time of year again! I really like Halloween! Of course, I enjoy any reason for having an excuse to get dressed up in costume and act silly!
We had a massive Halloween day at work on Thursday (our busiest day). I dressed up as a fairy and the kids came as everything from a Ninja Turtle to a Dragon Princess. It was pretty cute!!! We also carved a pumpkin, which was super exciting because none of the kids had ever done that before, seeing as Halloween isn't really a big deal here. I put slime, cold spaghetti and pumpkin insides out for sensory play and we played a great game of toss the ghost into the plastic pumpkin. Of course there were lots of decorations and Halloween arts and crafts. We topped the day off with "Pirate's Gold" (pumpkin pastries) with "Witches' Broth" (banana milkshake) for lunch and "Worms in Dirt" (gummy worms in chocolate pudding) for afternoon tea.
It was a lot of fun!

That's one really awesome thing about working with kids that I missed when I wasn't doing it... the holidays are just so much more fun when you get to celebrate with the wee ones! I was pretty pooped though...all that fun means very hyper kiddies, so Steve and I are taking today pretty easy for Halloween. I think I've had my fill for another year!

Hope everyone has a very spooky and exciting Halloween!:)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another splendid weekend!

We had another wonderfully relaxing weekend. Well, I did. Steve would have to speak for himself. Not sure if riding 3 hours on a trainer, followed by a run counts as relaxing to him or not. I, on the other hand, spent the day spring cleaning our house from top to bottom. Ah, feels so good to have it all organized and sparkling again! Makes me wanna create something new to add to the space! No time for that right now though...too much to do for work and Christmas before I go home in less than 4 weeks!
In other news...check out the awesome afghan I found at a thrift shop recently for only 4 bucks! I was thinking it would be fun to try to make one, but really...why bother when you can buy one for $4?? Feels good to relax and sip a glass of wine after a productive day of cleaning!

PS. I can't stop giggling at my hot husband's pics in the wetsuit. That guy sure does know how to make me laugh...for that I love him SO much!:) xo

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You can't fake this level of cool!

Finally got around to getting a wetsuit for my upcoming race. The lake we'll be swimming in is fed by rivers from the surrounding hills, so it tends to be very cold. Wetsuits will be mandatory. Triathlon wetsuits are built much differently then ones for scuba diving, but they're just as much of a pain to try on in a little changing room. By the time I tried on 2 I had a good sweat going.

No, I wont be riding while wearing a wetsuit, but if I had to it actually would be comfortable.

That's my leg....

Steve (22 days until the Half Iron Man) Dickinson

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Oh my gosh. I visit Canada in less than a month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bike ride!

Steve and I took a bike ride along the water tonight and stopped for dinner at a little beach side cafe for fish and chippers. It's only about a 15 minute ride along bike paths to the beaches from our house and then bike paths run all along the water. It was sooo nice! It's so active and alive by the water...people riding, running, playing frisbee, kayaking, beach volleyball, fishing, you name it! Steve snapped these pics with his Iphone...
I have a feeling we'll spend a lot of time by the water this summer. I *love* having the beaches only a short bike ride away! Plus, there's an off lease dog beach too, so Jeddy can come along.
On the way back, the sun was setting and it was amazing! So pink! We had to stop to look...
I'd say summer has arrived! It's calling for 27 degrees tomorrow! I think I'll head back to the beach after work tomorrow, only this time with Jes. It's such a rough life we live...;)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Good luck!

Wow...this is one courageous chick! Steve and I are both cheering for her, as she sails off on her incredible adventure! Can't wait to follow her story and watch her accomplish her dreams!

Could summer be on it's way?

Temps are slowly creeping up here. We managed to make it into the low 20s this weekend and of course, had to get out and enjoy it! Steve, Jesse and I stumbled upon a new dog beach today and had a great time playing in the water!
Pretty starfish:)

It felt good to be in bare feet again! Even the water wasn't that cold...
...which was good because Steve and I spent a lot of time retrieving the balls that Jes decided he didn't feel like getting!

Hopefully, this means summer won't be far away! We're really looking forward to summer here...have I mentioned that before?;)

Saturday, October 17, 2009


With only 4 weeks left until the Shepperton Half Iron Man I have to start thinking about what I'll be wearing during the race. 19 weeks of training means nothing if you're not sporting the latest swimming/biking/running fashions! When I filled out the entry form it asked what country you would be representing, and of course I selected Canada. I've been looking for Canadian swag to show off some home town pride and finally found this little beauty on ebay.


Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm dreaming of this...

I'd really love to have one! I'm obsessed with instant photos. I think the mini ones would look so cute along with my already growing Polaroid pic collection!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

In honor of this special weekend, I made spiced apple and pear crumble. Apples remind me of autumn and autumn reminds me of Thanksgiving, so it's perfect! It's extra good when drizzled with cream...yummmmmmmmmmmmmm!:)

I also made a Halloween wreath for our door. The spiders glow in the dark...spooky! I'm not sure if Halloween is even celebrated in Melbourne. I'm sure if it is, it's still nothing like home but I'm still really looking forward to it! We're having a Halloween party in my Kinder class and I'm already planning my costume!:)

Now, hopefully we can find Halloween pumpkins in this city. I managed to find them last year in Brisbane, so I'm optimistic that I will here too!

I also made this banner for over our bed a couple of days ago. It was inspired by the book I recently bought, Handmade Home. I've made 4 projects from the book so far and have really liked them all! I love using materials I already have lying around to create new things for around our home.

Remember these flowers I picked last weekend? Well, they're still going strong! I think they're actually prettier than ever! This makes me very happy:)

I'm having an absolute wonderful weekend, despite missing the turkey dinner with our families at home! The weather has been *perfect*. Yesterday it was 20 degrees with sunshine and today it's 22 degrees with blue sky. I had an amazing catch up on the phone yesterday with my soul mate friend, Kristi and as always felt incredibly inspired after our 2 hour chat! Steve and I went out for dinner last night at our favorite Greek restaurant and today we're off to buy him a suit for a birthday party he's going to. I can't wait to see him all dressed up. He's going to look gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!! xo

Lastly, I can't write a Thanksgiving post without reflecting on what I'm thankful for. I try to be grateful and thankful everyday for all the love and life around me, but it's nice to write it down and share it on the special occasions!

My list of the things I am thankful for;

~I am very thankful to be working in a job that inspires, challenges and teaches me. I feel very blessed to be going to a job I enjoy each day.

~I am thankful that life has brought us to the amazing city of Melbourne. I am enjoying every minute of our time here and am so looking forward to all there is still to see in do in the seasons to come.

~In keeping with the Melbourne theme, I am thankful for the change in seasons I see, smell and enjoy here. Last night Steve and I were walking home from the tram and it just smelled so fresh and crisp. I haven't smelled that smell since we lived in Canada. I think the distinct season changes help to keep life exciting and always offers such great things to look forward to!

~I am thankful that Jesse is still a healthy and happy dog. He really does make my life that much better, even if he doesn't listen at the park and runs smack into the middle of a competitive cricket game, chasing their ball and causing an "infringement", with me running behind him like a crazy lady. Yup, that was yesterday. I can laugh about it now.

~Of course, I am thankful for Steve, who I love more and more each day. But, he already knows that...I tell him all the time how happy I am we're married!:)

~I am thankful that I am able to visit my family and friends at home in only a few short weeks! Yah!!!

Okay, I could probably go on and on but I'll give you a turn! Please take a minute to comment and let me know what you're thankful for this year:)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Ma!
I can't believe you're only turning 35!

I think it's about time you came back for another visit....

Friday, October 09, 2009

This is why working with kids is fun!

Today, I buried "treasure" in our indoor sand bin. Stars of all sizes and "magic coins" (Canadian toonies!). One of the boys in my class was digging away happily and this is the conversation we had...

Cari: "Did you find any treasure in there?"

Child: "No not yet."

Cari: "Well keep looking...I'm sure you'll find something!"

Child: "Where did you bury them?"

Cari: "Hmmmm...I'm not sure. I don't really remember."

Child: (With an exasperated voice) "Cari, you should have written it down on a list!"

Cari: "Yes, I suppose that would have been helpful! I'll have to remember that for next time!"


A big green blob...otherwise known as playdough!

I made playdough last night for my classroom and thought you might like the recipe. It's the easiest thing ever to me, I make A LOT of it! I added glitter to this batch and called it "fairy dough". We've been talking about fairies, princesses, castles, dragons, wizards and magic lately, as the kids are obsessed with all these types of things! I also added a little peppermint essence to this batch as well, to make it smell extra yummy. Maybe not such a good idea with toddlers, because it makes eating it much more tempting!

Okay, so here's the recipe. Not sure where I first got it from...I've been making this one for as long as I can remember!

Throw the following ingredients in a pot...

1 cup plain flour
1 tbsp. cream of tartar
1 cup water with food coloring mixed in
1/2 cup salt
1 tbsp. cooking oil (I usually use vegetable oil)

Mix constantly over medium heat for approximately 5 to 10 minutes, basically until no longer sticky. Remove from heat and knead for a couple of minutes until soft. Let cool. Store in an air tight baggie or container when not using. I double the recipe for more kids but this amount would be just right for 1 or 2 kiddies.

Enjoy with cookie cutters, scissors (to help with scissor skills), rolling pins, cinnamon sticks, baking props (cookie sheets, play oven, etc...), play mallets, popsicle sticks, etc...Be creative and have fun!:) It's amazing how much children learn when they play with dough! Plus, it helps with brain development...

"As entertaining as it is pliable, this jack-of-all-trades medium provides hours of fun while improving hand strength, dexterity, and motor skills. Recent research also shows that using your fingers and hands actually stimulates your brain and increases the number of neural connections it makes. So when your child digs into play dough, he's not only building little figures and shapes, he's building his brain!"

Taken from here.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A treat for me!

I've said it before and I'll say it again...I adore this girl's stuff. I finally stopped thinking about it and went to her shop's website, where I ordered these 3 prints.

I've been doing lots of little things around the house to spice it up and make it feel more "us" (lots of pics to come soon!) and I have a plan for where I want these to go...

I stayed home sick today and have felt pretty blah all day long, so this just totally cheered me up! I can't wait to get them in the mail! Aren't they just the cutest?:)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Healthy eating...

Steve and I have been on a healthy eating kick for the last couple of weeks. We're eating lots of fruit, veggies and fish, nothing processed and minimal white sugar. I still need a good treat every now and then though, so I've been experimenting with my usual recipes to make them a bit healthier. It's amazing how good everything turns out if you switch the white sugar for honey and white flour for whole wheat flour. I made these banana muffins tonight doing those exact changes and they are super fluffy and yummy! Go ahead, try the switch and let me know how it goes:)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Lerderderg State Park

Steve and I went on our first little start-of-the-warmer-weather-season-hike-and-picnic today. The park was just 60 km outside of the city and was really beautiful. Steve and I both agreed that when you imagine hiking in Australia, this park is what you think of. It was nice too because for the first time in 2 years there was actually water in the river. Locals were very excited about it and said that it's been almost completely dry until just recently. We actually had to rock jump across the river several times to stay on the track.

This bit was a little tricky to rock jump so I opted for bare feet. It was SO cold!! Unfortunately, I attempted the rocks on the way back and fell in! Very wet feet!

We stopped for a picnic after our hike. It was a really pretty and peaceful spot. Insects were chirping, you could hear the stream running and the children giggling in the water a bit further down the river. I really enjoyed it.

I was most excited about getting to use the picnic blanket I recently made. I bought this lady's book and loved the idea for the beach/picnic blanket on the go. I think it's going to come in very handy in the coming months. I felt very inspired and excited about the coming season today and am now dreaming about the picnics, beach days, hikes and bike rides to come. I really appreciate the change in seasons here and can't wait to experience living in a city where we can bike ride to the beach. It's going to be a really amazing time.

The best thing about the blanket is it just rolls up and ties and is super light weight to carry. I used fabric I bought at Ikea ages ago and a thrifted bedspread I bought for $4. I'm really looking forward to my next project from the book. The author's blog always really inspires me. I adore and admire her beautiful appreciation for the simple things in life and love that she's passing that on to her children.

There were some horses along the way, so we stopped to say hi. I have a new love these days for horses. It's the eyes. They are so intense and trusting.

I picked some of these "weeds" that were growing everywhere. Australia has the prettiest weeds I've ever seen. These ones look amazing when they cover a farmer's field!

They also look pretty amazing sitting on the mantle in our bedroom, reminding me of all there is to be grateful for this season.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Thank you thank you thank you!

When I started working as a kindergarten teacher here, I asked Steve's Mom if she could have a look through a few of the boxes we stored at her house and send me some of my teaching supplies and children's books. The box of goodies arrived yesterday (yah!) and also included a new toy for Jesse. I'm not sure which one of us was more excited by the parcel! It's amazing having my books again and the programming planning is going to be really helpful. Thanks Debbie for getting it together and sent off so quickly! You're awesome! As for Jes, he hasn't left his toy alone since he got it, so a special thanks from him as well...woof woof!;)

The Great Ocean Road

Darryl, Stacey and the munchkins came to visit us a couple of weeks ago. We had such a great time with them, we didn't want them to leave! We all piled in a massive van and took a road trip on the Great Ocean Road. It's not too far from Melbourne but an entire loop takes several hours to do, so we spread it out over two days. We had great weather the first day when we did most of the driving and rainy weather the second day when we did most of the exploring. Isn't that just always the way? We still had a great time though and the scenery was pretty impressive!
B got a new baby on the trip. It reminded me of how much I loved playing with dolls when I was little!!!
We spent the night in a cute little cottage, where we had to smuggle Breagha in. Stace told the lady they only had one kid, so we could get the smaller and cheaper place. I still laugh when I think of Darryl telling B to keep her arms tucked in as he snuck her in under a pile of stuff!!! hehehehe
It was rainy and wet but luckily not too cold, so we stayed in good spirits!

Looking out from a pretty cool cave. This area was called the Loch and of our best stops along the way.
Fish for dinner?
The MacPurdys.

The coastline was gorgeous but it was these little guys that won my heart. I just loved them! There were sheep everywhere! We were all really impressed by how green everything was. Guess they get a lot of rain!

I seriously want a pet lamb.
Of course, what we mostly wanted to see was the Twelve Apostles. There's actually only seven, the most recent crumble happening only last week!

The kids were fantastic on the trip! They travel very well!
Roos on the side of the raod. I never get tired of seeing kangaroos in nature!
Another highlight of the week was going to see the musical Jersey Boys. It was AMAZING. It was the first time Steve and I have been to a musical and we *loved* it!!! Plus, it was really nice to spend a night out with the Purdys. We couldn't remember the last time just the four of went out!
This is Darryl's creepy stalker face. It worked well at the bar where we went for drinks after the show, where a guy started randomly rubbing his head on mine!!! Thanks for the save Darryl!

For more pics, check out the Purdys blog. Thanks for a great visit guys!:)