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Art and such…

This week has been a busy one.

I’ve been working on my detox and doing lots of walking.. so I’m happy with that, I have had a few days where I “cheated” and ate something not ‘totally” acceptable, but life is short, to waste time crying over food… so I’m cutting back and cutting OUT a few things and walking more it’ll all work out for the good. I am aiming to lose weight for my daughters upcoming engagement party and then keep on maintaining it for her upcoming wedding.. so I have time to work on these things.

In the mean time… let’s art!!

My daughter has an idea about doing “Squishy’s” bedroom in Harry Potter theme and so she wanted me to do a name thing for his room, so we decided on one panel for each house colour for his name. I enjoyed the challenge, because I had to free hand all the letters and any of the work I did, so it pushed me out of my comfort zone. I painted the cloud Blue, since the roof was already white and they rent so are not able to paint the roof. Then she came back with the panels to paint in the “Harry Potter” house colours. Then when I thought I was finished she came back with the mobile.. so I got that done as well.. I put some of the “Harry Potter” Symbols on the mobile. As well as trying to catch up on the Challenges I’ve been missing out on Irreversibly Moi I signed up for Susan’s email and ended up enrolling in a free art journaling course, we also have a facebook page, and the Prompts are so interesting to me, I am getting better as I go I think.. plus trying out some new techniques along the way like on this cat…

Challenge #18 "Paws"

Challenge #18 “Paws”

I did the back ground in yellow, bronze and white, and I found a stencil that I had brought ages ago and never used it, so I thought I’ll blend the “bronze” down a little bit by stenciling over it in white, then I drew the Cat, and colours most of it white, I had planned to do zentangle inside the cat but when I had a close look, I liked how some of the stencils had left nice marks, these on the body I highlighted in black marker.. I couldn’t ruin it by going over it. I really love my “kitty”

Challenge # 19- "Flower"

Challenge # 19- “Flower”

The prompt for this one was “flowers” and so Susan gives you ideas of how to incorporate the theme into your page.. and I think I got too carried away with this one. I REALLY should have blended it all down a little with a coat of white gesso to quieten down the background.. but I didn’t and now it is what it is.. I LOVE the dandelions though and I will recreate this on a board as part of my “50 by 50” challenge.

But for me the favourite one for today is….”Bewitched

Challenge #20- Childhood TV show

Challenge #20- Childhood TV show

I printed off the TV I used to have one just like this growing up and the prompt was “Childhood TV show” and I used to love Samantha in “Bewitched” so I cut the TV screen out and I painted the rest of the scene and then stuck the TV over the top of it. And I think I nailed the heading.. it looks just like the TV show… except don’t look too closely at Sam’s face I kinda messed that up!

Busy Art Day

I’m sick (again) I started off with a head cold it’s gone into my chest.. I’m sore from coughing, and my voice is husky (the Bloke likes it that way!) but it means I can’t talk loud or yell, the children LOVE that!

Today, my eldest daughter arranged for Squishy to stay home with his “Dada” and give me a rest, so I put my “rest day” to good use..

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First of all I did this double page spread for “Sunday mornings 2” we had a guest teacher called Kimberley Hope..

it’s called “God is God” The lyrics of a song by Steven Curtis Chapman. I love how it turned out.

Next I worked on my ICAD cards, http://daisyyellowart.com/vividlife/icad-2015-index

 I’ve gotten a bit behind so I’ve spent an hour or two catching up.

Day 8– Prompt was “Cherry and Grapefruit”

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Day 9– “Carrot and Lemon”. I loved this one.

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Day 10– “Eggplant and Ginger”- I liked this one too.

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But then I did Day 11– “Lime and Mango”.. I think this is my fave for today!!

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So that caught me up with that project…

Yesterday I did art too.. in between babies

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This was also from “Sunday Mornings 2” and this was called “Resurrection

I also did another one

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Shonna Bucaroff was the guest teacher and I call this one “Praise Him”

And that babies were so good and let me get some art done.. and they were so quiet so Amber went to check and them and this is why….

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They decided to be “Artists” like Grandma the only difference being Grandma doesn’t use the walls! (yet!)

So we had to scrub the walls and made Sweetpea help…

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She thought it was very amusing to say the least!!

It certainly was a fun day!! I’ve had Star Son home Tuesday and Wednesday he went back to school today, and he has a curriculum day off tomorrow… go figure!

How is your Thursday??

Busy long weekend. Update, Book reviews, photos.

This weekend was a long weekend, which simply means that it was a public holiday today for the Queens Birthday..like most long weekends in Australia it’s just an excuse to go away and party or in our case relax!

We spent the weekend at our holiday place in St.Leonards and I’ve written lots about that so I won’t bore you again, instead I’m going to tell you how amazing I am that I got so much done this weekend. Its amazing really when I have some baby free time how much I can achieve. I had a stack of penpal letters to reply to so I took those along, seven letters to be truthful and so I got ALL of those written and posted! Yay! that in itself is a job well done, because I hand write all my letters and  they are usually 4 or more pages long.

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Bookclub

Next on my list of “to do” was to finish a book I started back in April it was called “Adams Empire” by Even Green..

Adam's Empire

Mine was a different cover, but this is the one “god reads” has on display..

From Publishers Weekly
The protagonist of this robust and sprawling saga set in the untamed Australia of the first half of this century is a true child of the outback. Orphaned at age nine, at home under the stars, completely unschooled, Adam uses his fists and his wits to rise from poverty to prosperity. He befriends an aborigine, performs dangerous work in the opal mines, falls in love with a sensual half-caste, has a run-in with a murderous policeman, marries a cold and manipulative beauty and finally treks west to carve himself an empire. This striking first novel tells a colorful and entertaining story, vividly evoking a vigorous, multiethnic society and a beautiful, diverse, often dangerous land. Green is a journalist and the author of Alice to Nowhere.

Nine-year old Adam is orphaned when his father is buried during an Australian desert sandstorm. A childhood of roaming the outback with his father’s drilling partner instills in him a fierce determination to have a place of his own. In this fast-paced, gripping saga, the reader follows the hard-working Adam and his mates, Jimmy, the practical aboriginal, and Josef, the impetuous young German immigrant, from the opal mines to the desert. They feint with death in mine disasters, at the hands of Mailey, the revenge-seeking law officer, and in the ravages of flash floods. A more deadly threat for Adam is his beautiful, calculating, near-mad wife, but a seductive half-caste woman lends her own type of danger to all of the men.

Taken from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4116936-adam-s-empire

So it had 780 pages and normally that doesn’t phase me but I’ve been so busy it’s taken me almost three months to read it all.. shame on me.. but to be honest I did read other things in between..I loved this book which started in 1919 and went up to I think about 1940’s so a nice long-span of time, and I like that it mentioned places we have been as a family. I enjoyed it but it was time to finish it and move on… I’m giving this one a 4 out of 5 star rating

So I wiped that off by Saturday morning and then, my cousin Lee went to a charity shop to look for bargains because it’s kind of a thing we do whenever we are down there together, and while we were there we heard about a BOOK SALE! at the St. James church. They have two a year one in January and this one in June, and this year I missed the January one because it was star son’s 13th birthday party weekend.

So we went to St.James in Drysdale and spent an hour wandering through endless rows and tables and shelves of books! I love it! I was able to replenish my supply of “Christian books” and I was very pleased about that and I ended up with about 10 books or sets of books for only $8.50! Bargain!

So while I was book shopping I found another book which was “Australian” for my “Read Australian Authors” challenge..

This  book was called “Diamonds and Dust” by Sheryl McCorry

Diamonds and Dust: A Sheryl McCorry Memoir 1

Sheryl McCorry grew up in the outback carrying crocodiles to school for show and tell. When she was 18 her family moved to Broome, and it was the first time she’d ever used a telephone or seen a television.

A year later, only hours after being railroaded into marriage by a fast-talking Yank, Sheryl locked eyes with Bob McCorry, a drover and buffalo shooter. When her marriage ended after only a few months, they began a love affair that would last a lifetime and take them to the Kimberley’s harshest frontiers.

Sheryl became the only woman in a team of stockmen. She soon learned how to run rogue bulls and to outsmart the neighbours in the toughest game of all mustering cattle. The playing field was a million acres of unfenced, unmarked boundaries.

Sheryl went on to become the first woman in the Kimberley to run two million-acre cattle stations, but her life was not without its share of tragedy. Her story is an epic saga of life in one of the toughest and most beautiful terrains in Australia a story of hardship, drought, joy and triumph.

Taken from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11864222-diamonds-and-dust

This one was much easier to read it’s a true story and therefore fascinating to me a “City Slicker” I loved it and finised reading it this afternoon! I’m giving this a 4 out of 5 star rating.

Another thing on my “to do” list was.. “do some art

I had downloaded the video clips at home while I had the internet connection and so I was able to just watch them from my lap top computer down there, Last week I mentioned about a friend of mine who had gifted me some art classes… you can read about it here: https://kimlhine.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/im-back/

So I wanted to do some of the art classes Carrol had gifted me.. first class I did was from the 2013 version of LifeBook the “Tam Edition” which was “Celebration and Journey

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I forgot to take progress photos! Never mind here she is finished.. the Clouds are things we are grateful for and the flowers are things we want to journey towards.

Next up in the series was “our art guardian” and here’s how she turned out..

More info about Tam’s courses here: http://willowing.ning.com/group/lb2013-tam-edition

I also had downloaded a few of Mindy’s lessons from “Sunday Mornings 2” and So I also got done a double pages spread titled “The Crucifixion” This is the second time in the past three or so weeks I’ve painted on this theme and both times it made me cry. Maybe because I understand the background of the disciples deserting him in his time of need.

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I am so loving this piece!

I am calling it "Mary's tears"

Here is the previous “crucifixion” painting I did- I am calling it “Mary’s tears”

But you know what I am finding annoying? I am doing all these lovely pieces in my art journal! Arghhhh.. I had a Facebook friend ask me “how much for a signed copy”? and I replied “Priceless it’s in my art journal” so now I need to do it again and send it to him! I found this weekend that whatever I was touching was turning out nicely!!

More info about Sunday Mornings 2 here: https://app.ruzuku.com/courses/7987/overview

I also got caught up on my ICAD project…

This week the prompts are

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and you can find out more about this challenge at: http://daisyyellowart.com/vividlife/icad-2015-index

Tam’s and Mindy’s classes are at a cost.. and the ICAD is a free challenge.

Today we got back home and took Star Son’s friend home, we took a friend down to the holiday place to keep him occupied and once we had dropped the friend home, we un packed the car and went to visit my Mother-in-law at her facility, we took Sweetpea with us which is always fun because she’s so tiny and doll-like people just cant help but love her.. the Oldies adore her and she’s happy to perform for them, today’s little game was taking off Star Son’s hat and putting it back on each of us in turn, at one point she dropped the hat and as clear as a bell she said “oh shit!” I guess that means now we will all have to watch what we say!!

I wish she’d say Grandma like that!!

How was your weekend?

T is for… too much fun!

My daughter, Jasmin and I are working on a theme for Squishy’s bedroom, I’d better not say what it is until I find out if it’s a secret or not, but as soon as I can I will share with you.. so she looks up what she wants and then comes to me and says “Mum can “we” do this?” by “we” she means “Me” and that’s ok, because she knows I will take a theme and run with it.. themes I am great at. What I am not great at it spending money on said items because they are “themed” So I have always said “I bet I could do that!” and 9 times outta 10 between the Bloke and I , I have done it.. sometimes I get a little lost and so I call him and he fixes it… we are a good crafty combo.

So today has been an arty day, just like yesterday was an arty day… today I have Squishy, but Amber and Sweetpea have gone away for last night and today, so minus one small person makes such a difference to productivity.

So here’s a sneak peek at what we’ve, (by “we” I mean “me“, Jasmin funds it all, I do the work)  been doing…

So before you think to yourself “Clouds are not supposed to be blue” well, Jasmin is living in a rental and I don’t think they’d let us paint the roof to resemble the sky, so we are keeping the roof white and adding blue clouds…we’re funky like that!!

You can always tell when I’ve been away from my Art Studio too long..

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First this happened… I run out of Gesso!! Oh my!

AND THEN!

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I decided to finish the base coat with white paint and it was dried rock hard in to bottom of the jar…

AND THEN....

I ran out of the blue we were using to make the clouds, so I guess that tells me it’s been too long between painting ,

GET BACK TO THE STUDIO!!

So now I need to go off and make up the letters of his name in the font we want and transfer them to the canvas panels when they dry… Check back again for an update!!

Email newsletters

I am kind of a sucker for those email newsletters, a while back I signed up with sarahmae.com initially because I was going to join the “Sisterhood reading club” and read all the Christian books Sarah had listed, but I didn’t end up doing that because I couldn’t find a few of the books on her list. So I keep getting the emails and finding interesting things to read, but tonights interesting thing moved me to tears.

Sarah was telling us about reading a friends blog post, you can find it here: http://www.sarahjessicafarber.com/?p=78 as I read along I started to cry, (I don’t love the month of April, it makes me cry a LOT, because on the 8th of April my Dad died in 1992. Plus on April 25th is ANZAC day which is when we remember the ones that were lost in the wars, everytime I hear the bugler play “The Last Post” I cry! Because they played it at Dad’s funeral and I miss him so much, Nope I do NOT like April!) I was about the same age when my Dad died, and like Sarah I have few photos and no recording of his voice, my eldest Daughter was 22 months and she adored “Poppa” and he adored her and called her his “Boo” and Amber was only 3 weeks old. They have missed out growing up with him, hearing his laugh and knowing his love and hearing his stories.

This is partly why when my girls discovered they were pregnant I started a journal for the “Jellys” Scarlett is Jelly Baby and Chase is Jelly Bean and I have started one for the Eldest Grand baby that we don’t get to see, who knows one day she might come looking for me and I’ll be able to give her the journal, and she will be able to read that although I wasn’t there with her, I never stopped thinking of her and loving her. Any chance I get to jump into photos with my Grandbabies, I do it.  I hate looking at my photos but I want them to have happy memories when I am no longer here to hold them, so we take candid photos as well as the fancy photos and today we took this photo!

  

Why? Just because I had looked down and we all had our sneakers on and were getting ready to go for a walk, they trusted me, they waited patiently for me to be ready to go.. So we took a photo of our feet, then Miz Scarlett lost one of her cute little pink Nike sneakers somewhere along the way, we back tracked and could not find it anywhere, so now we have one lonely little hot pink Nike.. Which her Mum brought for $1:00 and free postage on Ebay.. Another little story for her journal!! 

So even though you feel like you might be carrying too much weight, or your hair is not right, or your clothes are not right, jump in the photo and make some happy memories to pass onto your children and even more importantly your Grandchildren. I am going to! 

B is for……..

  APRIL-CALENDAR [2015]

A-Z Blogging Challenge….  http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

B

Babies…

Oh don’t groan!! I know you might be tired of this subject but a “Family” themed blog without my Grand babies would not work!

So let me introduce you to my “Babies” for the letter B… technically it can be argued that at 20 months and 16 months they are NOT babies but toddlers, but they will always be “my Babies” no matter how old they are!

Becoming a Grandma was always going to be exciting but the first one was so unexpected even I was lost for words, a strange occurrence for me.

I received a phone call one July morning in 2013 from a social worker I’d never heard of about a girl I’d heard of in snippets who had just given birth to my “grand child Umm.. err.. WHAT?!! Apparently my then 18-year-old son had become a father! I’d heard the rumors from my middle child and she said A lot of people doubted that he was in fact the father but anyways I’d become a “grandmother” and she asked “How do you feel?” hmmm, on the spot much? So I honestly spoke my mind and told her that if in fact that new-born girl was MY grandchild I would love her unconditionally, and we would like to be a part of her life and get to know her… so months went by and phone calls and messages through Facebook between the mother of my “grandchild” that I’d never laid eyes on, and my middle daughter who knew the girl.

Then in November- the 21st at 11.43 pm 2013 my Sweetpea was born, 6 pounds 13 oz. I was with her at her birth and stayed with her the first night and day of her life Amber was in pretty bad shape, she’d had a hard labour. All focus was on her, what a small sweet bundle of love!

Grand daughter Scarlett

Grand daughter Scarlett

Two weeks later, 5th December 2013 our handsome Brown eyed boy arrived via C-Section, I was with my eldest daughter as they struggled to bring him from her womb, upside down and head wedged under her ribs, she ended up needing forceps as well, he so didn’t want to be born! This boy child weighed in at 8 pound 11 oz, with the juiciest dimples started talking almost immediately, no one had heard of a newborn so vocal, he just didn’t shut up!

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                                                                       Chase John, Mr Have-a-chat!

Then in the January of 2014,  another phone call asking if my Son would like to meet his daughter? of course he would, we had suspicions until that day! My eldest daughter drove J and I to meet this baby, all we knew was her name was “Inara Rose” which is Arabic and means “Illuminating or shining” All three of us were nervous as we sat in the waiting room, the social worker had gone to collect Inara and bring her to the meeting place.  In she walked and uncovered this child and all three of us gasped… Inara was the image of her cousin Scarlett, slightly bigger but the resemblance was there! And she looked like my son!

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Inara Rose the first time we met her!

Suddenly it got very real that we have three Grandbabies.

Sadly things didn’t turn out very happily ever after, and we do not get to see Inara. My Son lost numerous court battles and  a lot of his confidence, the maternal Grandma has custody and we send gifts for birthdays. I hope and pray that some day Inara will want to find her Father’s family and that she will come looking with questions that we have answers to, and I am journalling about her as I journal for the other two babies. I wish we had access to Inara she is so like her Dad… but in the mean time, I send cards and presents and keep our address current so she can come looking for us.

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All three of my “babies” together

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Our Fridge is our Baby Gallery.

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Grandma with Inara Rose.

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Grandma With Scarlett Olivia

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Grandma with Chase John

Yumminess… Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins.. recipe too.

recipes

Well for a little while I have been considering going onto the “paleo program” not sure why I’ve never made the switch but I am doing the “Daniel Plan” and so I have cut things out of my diet that I have never thought I would ever stop eating… some crept back in but honestly in smaller doses.

I gave up Coffee... me who used to rink 6 or more cups a day! I said  “If I can’t have milk and sugar what’s the point?” so I gave it up like that 10th November 2014.. since then I tried a cappuccino and it was terrible and I forced myself to drink it because my husband brought it but I didn’t enjoy it which means I’ve made the right choice to quit it. For a while I was doing “Chinese red tea” instead, but on 7th December I got really badly sick with Gastro and that put me off the tea so now I have nothing, nada, zip, zilch. I miss the ritual of the “Morning Coffee” but I don’t actually miss the coffee.

Sugar– Since I don’t have coffee or tea anymore, I no longer have sugar, I did bring it back after the detox in smaller doses, I have one small glass of Pepsi each night, it’s my one consolation.

I also gave up dairy…. me who loves cheese, but I recall when I was pregnant with “Star Son” and I have gestational Diabetes, I had to change to Skim milk and low-fat cheese and in fact limit it all together back then it was hard, but this time gave up dairy too! So as usual I fast read everything so that I could start (Yes I am working on “Patience” now!) and I read in correctly that the “Detox” was what I was supposed to do… silly me thought “forever” but no it was for a limited time… then you re-introduce the taken away stuff back in one by one.. but I had not felt so good so I left them out… well all except the dreaded bread!

A few weeks back and I went and did my yearly blood test, I have been feeling really tired and worn out and wondered if I was in need of iron or something, plus she checks on my hormones and whatever else they check, Oh  yeah Glucose, Cholesterol and Blood Sugars and Liver enzymes. I went back for the results wondering what would they say and she was amazed! My blood levels are the lowest they’ve ever been all over the board! 18 months ago when I was last tested, I was told I was just barely in the “normal range” for Cholesterol which shocked me because we eat healthy… apparently not!! She said my Blood Sugar and Cholesterol had never been this low!! Yay me! it convinced me that I am on the right path, as for the tiredness she put that down to “life style” and said “go ahead and take your Nanna naps if you need to”

Gluten has been a learning curve for me.. bread is evil for me (please don’t take what I say to heart this is just MY opinion for MY body) I know full well that when we go away camping or to our holiday place for the weekend, white bread is involved… it’s much easier to buy one loaf of “white bread” and know Star Son and the Bloke will eat it than try to make them eat my “Soy linseed” nutty bread that I use at home… I also know that when that happens I’ll come home and I could have gained as much as two kilos… because White bread had no goodness init and whats more when you eat bread the water is absorbed in to the bread which cling to you..I learnt that from “body trim” So I cut out bread, it’s been hard, much harder than I like to admit and it’s the one thing I struggle with.. and then I discovered “Paleo and Gluten Free” recipes which mean you can have a “type of bread” to use the same way you’d use bread but without the nasties…

One of my favourite websites is “Paleonewbie.com” and I am really enjoying reading what Trina comes up with.

So today I got brave and made one of her recipes…

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins

They were delish! and as expected the “Zucchini” in the title put everyone off.. but my husband and I liked them. I am taking them to an art class tomorrow I had already decided that was what I was taking and I emailed the teacher to ask her how many students so I could bake enough and she said “well I am gluten intolerant so I won’t be needing any” so I wrote right back and told her they were Gluten free and Paleo and she was rapt!!

So without further Ado… here is the recipe…

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins

Yield: Makes about 40 mini-muffins (I made regular sized ones)

Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup grated raw zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350º F (175 C )
  2. Grate zucchini – blot firmly with paper towels to remove excess moisture
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, first combine dry ingredients (except the chocolate chips)
  4. In a separate small mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients (except the zucchini)
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl and stir
  6. Finally, fold in both the grated zucchini and dark chocolate chips
  7. Grease a non-stick mini-muffin pan with coconut oil
  8. Fill each muffin well about two-thirds full
  9. Bake 10-12 minutes (oven cooking times may vary)
  10. Cool, remove and enjoy!

Seriously they are good!