Monday, 31 March 2014

Scavenger Hunt & Spring Day 11

Well, It's the end of March already- these months sure are flying in. Time again for another Scavenger Hunt hosted by that lovely lady over Made with Love. So starting of with my Scavenger hunt and then finishing of with today's entry for my 30 Days of Spring.


9 am
 9am on Saturday morning at the local market. This little girl was happily amusing herself by playing clapping games, while her mum sold Orchids.

Berries
 These are Palm Berries on the palm trees that line the sides of our car park.

Brickwork
 This wasn't exactly what I had in mind- But when I saw the pile of Bricks, next to the maintenance sign- It is indeed- Brick Work! (I do believe they are going to mend a wall)

Crisp
 Crisp Biscotti from my local coffee shop

Cutlery
 Plastic cutlery drying off in the sun at the back of a restaurant in China Town. There's no knives or forks, just Chopsticks and Chinese style soup spoons:)

A Coloured Door
 I don't think it knows what colour it wants to be-  Green or white?

Grate
 Grating Lemon Zest for a Lemon Sponge I was making.

Flowers
 Thought I'd go for something different- A whole shop full of silk and plastic flowers!

Lit up
My apartment swimming pool and gym at night

M is For...
 Marks in the Sand. Trails in the sand made from Hermit Crabs scuttling along.

Ticket
 My ticket from a visit to the Beach on Gaya Island. You need an entry permit as it is part of the National park. The other ticket is my ferry ticket- It takes about 15-20 mins in a little motor boat to get there.

Working
 My class busily working away. They were actually tidying up their baskets- some of them were in a right mess!

Looking forward to next Month's list:) 

Spring - Day 11
 
For those of us in the know- This is a Rafflesia. Native to Sabah, Borneo and our National Emblem.
This one was 88cm wide and was growning up near Poring Hot Springs, up on Mount Kinabalu.
 Now this infamous flower only flowers for 5 days- I reckon that this one maybe had another day of life left in it before it shriveled up and died!
The other reason why this flower is so unusual is that is a parasitic plant and gives off a foul smelling odour- The local name for it translates as a Corpse Flower!

See you soon,
Amanda x

Spring Day 9 and 10

  
What a difference a day makes! On one day we have beautiful blue skies, just perfect for sitting by the pool...

And for the next we have rain- It is however, less like April Showers- than full blown thunderstorms.
It all adds to the mix of a Spring in Borneo!

Joining in with Peggy for
Amanda x

Friday, 28 March 2014

Six Words Friday- Sweet and Spring Day 8

Sweet
 The sweet, sweet smell of success,
Raising awareness, raising smiles, raising money.
We held a day of pink,
Celebrating diversity, embracing differences, stopping bullies.

Cake sales appealling to the masses
Little hands delve into deep pockets
Spending money until it's all gone
A cake here, a cookie there.
 Staff and students alike, all wearing pink
Making a stand for the good.
 And when the day is through
 We hope that the message lingers
 That bullying will not be tolerated.
 As long as we work together
 Life can be just as sweet.

Spring- Day 8


I told you it was going to rain! 4 weeks of nothing and then a downpour! :)

Amanda x

Joining in with Adrienne for Six Word Fridays
and Peggy for fourseasonsthirtydays

Thursday, 27 March 2014

A March Invitation to Tea

Or would you prefer coffee today?

As you can see, somewhere new today? Did you find it ok? There's a few of these coffee places around town- but this is my local- I thought we'd come here for a change. Not that I wouldn't welcome you with open arms to my apartment- but they say a change is as good as a rest!

It's on my way home from school for me, so it's no bother at all to call in a grab a coffee- Parking's a bit mad though- luckily someone had just pulled out as I was arriving- how very serendipitous- That's a great word isn't it- almost as good as the movie- but I digress! 


Back to the coffee and cake- what would you like? I usually go for the Latte, or if I'm eating I have an Earl Grey. Saying that on a day like today I think I'm in the mood for something cold- an Ice blended frappuccino type thing I think. The perfect drink for a warm day. It is a bit muggy today too- have you noticed? We're obviously in for a down pour- not that we've had one for ages. In fact it's probably 4 weeks since the last rainfall. I think that we'll be due for one soon.


I do like it in here- apart from the good coffee, excellent pancakes and waffles- it's such an easy going place-and free wifi- which is always very important when ours is as erratic as it comes. That's why you'll usually find me here, on a Saturday or Sunday morning, grabbing some waffles for breakfast, sat there with my earl grey tea, planning my week, writing lists and using their wifi.
It is a bad that the baristas know me by name- but I'm sure if you popped along enough they would know yours too- a friendly bunch they are.


Just look at that weather out there isn't it gorgeous- but it's definitely due for a change soon- we'll all have to make the most of it when we can. Would you like some more coffee or tea, anything to eat? I did promise you cake didn't I? Well, here you are- a little piece to take home with you. I know the cakes in here are nice - but you can't beat some homemade stuff can you?

A small slice of Chocolate Brownie- squidgy in the middle, a little crisp around the edges. I might have to go and get a coffee to take away too, I'm sure the brownie will go down a treat with it.

Right, shall we make tracks and go and make the most of the sunshine- it was great catching up- my place again next month?- if you're still interested?- I shall be back from my holidays then and I can tell you all about it.
Until then...
I'll leave you with a lovely Spring picture

Spring Day 7
Lush Foliage

Joining in with Abi for A Time for Tea 
&

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Spring- Day 6



Spring is...Lots of lovely fresh veggies.

See you tomorrow- for a cup of tea?
Amanda x

Linking with Peggy at fourseasonsthirtydays 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

A Simple women's Bookclub- March and Spring Day 6




Author: Lori Nelson Spielman
Title: 'The Life List'
I read this book... in Paperback, On loan to me from a friend.
Here's link where you can find this- On Amazon you can get it Here

'Brett Bohlinger seems to have it all: a plum job, a spacious loft, an irresistibly handsome boyfriend. All in all, a charmed life. That is, until her beloved mother passes away, leaving behind a will with one big stipulation: In order to receive her inheritance, Brett must first complete the life list of goals she’d written when she was a na├»ve girl of fourteen. Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother’s decision—her childhood dreams don’t resemble her ambitions at age thirty-four in the slightest. Some seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other goals (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future. As Brett reluctantly embarks on a perplexing journey in search of her adolescent dreams, one thing becomes clear. Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places'

My personal thoughts on this book
This is such an easy read on one hand, a chic lit with a bit more substance. Not only do you start to question what you would have written for your wish list at 14, but as you continue along the journey with Brett you realize that the books answers in ticking off these things aren’t always the obvious ones.  The book isn’t too predictable either. It has a wider range of supplementary characters with their own storylines and generally it’s just a good read.

A quote from the book
“Eleoner Rooseavelt once said ‘Do Something every day that scare you’ continue to push yourself to do those things that scare you, darling. Take those risks and see where you land, for they are the very things that make this journey worthwhile” 




Spring -Day 6

A very pretty Amaryllis

Joining in with Peggy for Four Seasons: Thirty Days of Spring.


Until tomorrow...
Amanda :)

Monday, 24 March 2014

Simply a Jungle Moment


The distant roar of the river had become a gentle background hum in my sleepy state, but now the flowing water rumbled and brought me to my senses- that and of course the incessant chatter of a bird waking up from its sleep too. Its high pitched call pierced the still early morning air with a shout that sounded like a whistle saying ‘twenty two, twenty two’, over and over again. Within seconds its call had a reply- this time ‘datdatdatdat’- a rapid fire of high pitched bird call- soon the whole jungle would be awake.

 The crisps morning air was cool around my shoulders and I hitched my down sleeping bag a little further up. It hadn't been like that through the night, evidence of my fretful broken night’s sleep lay about me, layers of clothes that had been shed when I had got too warm and my feet entangled with a sleeping bag liner and mosquito net.


It was still dark but the shapes of the trees towering above were beginning to make outlines against the early morning sky. It was just before six and a predawn blue light made silhouettes of the tree canopy. It had been so dark last night, totally pitch black,  that my eyes were adjusting slowly. I became to make out shapes.

The birds were joined by the other noises that we had become accustomed too- indistinguishable noises that make up the jungle symphony. A cacophony of sounds that were made by who knows- insect chatter, bird calls, frog bellows and the constant rumble of the river.

 The air remained still, for a breeze had yet to penetrate the dense forest. There was the constant drip of water, splashing down from tips of leaves onto the jungle floor. At least it was light rain now, the floor had been muddy enough without another deluge-But I suppose you don’t have rain forest without any rain! The leeches would love it- the damp will bring them out from their leafy hiding places, on the hunt for something warm, dry and tasty!

As long as it wasn't me!

(Joining in with Alexa for Simply a Moment. :) )

And now onto day 5 of my '30 Days of Spring'

Spring -  Day 5


Something bright amid the jungle greens :)

Amanda x

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Spring - Day 3 & 4

Day 3
 I really have no idea what these berries will turn into. I imagine they are the fruit of a tree that blossoms with beautiful flowers. I shall have to go back and have a look in a couple of weeks, to see what has come of them:)

Day 4
These are the flowers from the tree that is directly outside my classroom, definitely something cheery to look at each morning.

Joining in with Peggy for 3O days of Spring
I'll be back from my Jungle trip tomorrow to catch up with my other posts.
Amanda :)

Friday, 21 March 2014

Six Words Friday- Breeze and Spring Day 2

BREEZE
Clouds drift by on the breeze

Day 2 of 30 days of Spring- Fluffy white clouds in a clear blue sky. Two memes for the price of one!
Linking in with Adrienne for Six Word Friday 
 and with Peggy at Four Seasons Thirty Days

Short and Sweet for today I'm afraid- Off to the Jungle!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Spring : 30 Days Through My Eyes-Day 1

Today is the first day of spring and Spring here is a bit different from what I'm used too! I'm linking this as part of a 30 Day Spring Challenge a daily photograph to show what spring means to me. Difficult over here in the tropics, as we don't have seasons! It's perhaps a little drier than normal but nothing as distinctive as Spring If I was back home in the UK then Spring would have very different connotations- I'd be thinking of lambs, daffodils and Easter eggs- But not here. Here I'm having to be a little more creative in my thinking. What does Spring really mean to me? 

My first thought was 'sunny days' and so that's what I'm going with.

Call back tomorrow to see what I can find for day 2 :)

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies

I run an after school club called Make, Bake and Take. Trying to find recipes that 16 kids can make, in an hour, has been quite a challenge. But we have had fun trying! Usually they end up going home with things half finished, or not quite set, or half baked- but it's all a good experience - and they love it! As far as they are concerned, the messier the better- you should see the state of my classroom when they have finished -I have to grovel to the cleaning staff every week :)
This week we made Coconut ice- delicious and sweet- but very messy- you can just imagine how far desiccated coconut can go when 16 kids have their hands on it... but that leads me on to this challenge. I had an awful lot of condensed milk to use up (once we'd made coconut ice and peppermint creams) and so I was looking for recipes that had some in. I came across the 'Carnation Milk' website here and found these very easy cookies on there.
Once I'd made them, I took them into school for the staff to share- They went down very well at coffee time- Hope you enjoy them too!

 

Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies



  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 170g Condensed milk
  • 200g oats
  • 150g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 150g raisins

  •  
    1.Cream together butter and sugar
    2. Add condensed milk and mix well
    3. Add oats, cinnamon and flour
    4. Finally add the raisins (Apparently these are also really good made with sultanas too, or even coconut and cherries)
    5. Place mixture on baking tray and cook at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.

    And enjoy!- We all did:)