Thursday, October 20, 2011

Infant Weight Watchers... *rolls eyes*

As many of my readers may know I had a baby 12 weeks ago, a gorgeous little man who is the light of mine and hubby's life, born 7lb 13oz, the little guy was smaller than we expected as we were told to expect a 9lb or 10lb, needless to say we had a wardrobe full of 000 clothing that didn't initially fit, having to opt for the 0000 clothes first of all instead.. I didn't buy too many, thankfully because the little fella grew super quickly into his 000 wardrobe in no time at all (2 weeks later) and now he is moving into the 00 clothes! I already have 2 bag fulls of clothes that he has outgrown!

 My point though, isn't that I wasted money on lots of clothes (I have no problem with that at all.. I enjoy every minute of clothes shopping..  ) What concerns me of late, is the amount of people who feel its OK to comment on my babies size.. like he is a supermodel or something.. "Ooh he's a little chubby" "Look at those rolls" (although I for the life of me, can't see rolls.. ) or even "What a big boy".  Yes, he is quite tall and certainly doesn't have numerous rolls so I think he looks 100% adorable and 100% healthy!  My elder son grew in the same fashion and by 5 months he was a size 0.. now he is a super skinny 6 year old, I don't think he has an obese bone in his whole body..

I sometimes feel like asking these infant Jenny Craig activists if they think I should send bub to the gym, perhaps a calorie controlled diet? Cut out the carbs perhaps.. LOL. He drinks bottles for goodness sakes.. he is hardly down at McDonald's every day binge eating. It just amazes me how people think it's OK to make such comments.. I hardly think they'd like it if I pointed out their second chin, fat ass or the couple of extra kilo's they gain here and there.. so why do they think its OK to tell a baby they are fat?  

Just my random observation for the day.. :) 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Computer Woes...

 Ever since I was 12 I have had a computer with access to the Internet, so this week when I found myself 'computerless' with 2 broken laptops I really felt quite 'disconnected'. A feeling I haven't experienced since I didn't pay my Internet bill in uni and lost my Internet connection for a week! However, in this crazy day of technology, my despair didn't last too long upon realising I had 2 'retired' desktops, 1 dinosauric laptop hidden in the back of the linen cupboard and of course my IPhone to fall back on! How insane does that seem? We had so much technology in the home, we just simply take it for granted and forget it is even there.. and because things are worth so little these days, it wasn't worth selling either the desktops or the retired laptop when we no longer needed them, so they just sat there (and did what unused computers do).  

So my laptop went off to the shop with what I presumed would be a virus, however, the issue turned out to be a broken hard drive.. Thankfully, even though my warranty expired 3 weeks ago, Acer have been lovely enough to honour the repairs.. So after a week in the shop, I am out of pocket $150 for the computer shops labour, diagnosis and backup and will now still be without my computer for another 7-10 working days whilst Acer receive and repair the problem.. on the bright side, I saved $160. 

I didn't realise computer illness's were contagious, but Hubby's computer is doing something very similar, and still being under warranty, it too is off for repairs through the rental scheme it was purchased through.. 

In the meantime I chose to use the dinosauric laptop of days gone by, it is 10 times larger than I remember, 100 times slower, makes noises that computers shouldn't make and the 'd' key is missing, but we are getting along just fine. 

I think after the laptops come back I'm going to take some time to clear out the 2 desktops and the clunker of a laptop and re home them to someone who needs 1 computer in their life.. :) 

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Shop til I drop..

Its certainly no secret that I'm an avid shopper.. In the past I have often felt like the shops are a second home to me, I could walk around them for hours, aimlessly browsing and feeling right at home! Since the birth of my Son, I haven't been out to the shops quite as often as I used to (it's no longer a daily habit, more so a weekly one!) Funnily enough I haven't suffered too many withdrawal symptoms because I have turned to the oh so convenient world of online shopping and I'm loving it!

Why? well since Charlie was born, hubby started popping to the shops here and there to pick up groceries or the odd supplies that we needed.  All well and good (he sticks to a list like a fly to flypaper)  but, I missed being able to pick up the bits and pieces that never make the list and overall I missed being able to grocery shop in general.  So over the school holidays I turned to Coles Online and used their 'Click and Collect' facility which allowed me to select all of my grocery items and then collect my purchases at my nearby Coles loading dock, all bagged and ready to go for no extra cost!  I was initially dubious about items such as deli, fresh produce and meat, but every item that was selected by the personal shopper was in great condition (sometimes even better than I choose for myself!)  and what I loved most about the experience it was the easiest grocery shop I had ever done with 5 kids in tow!

I also liked the fact that I was able to shop smarter because I was at home and can go and check on the items before I order and I didn't seem to forget anything, which is usually my biggest problem! I could rave about this service for ever and ever and have used it 3 times so far, each time, I was equally as impressed.. definitely something I will stick with in the future.. (if only Aldi had the same service, I'd be set & a little better off

Iv also used the Catch of the Day website to purchase Saucepans for 60% of the RRP and Lamaze storybooks for Charlie, also 60% off the recommended retail price.  Charlie's rocker came off of Big W online for $30 cheaper than I'd seen advertised elsewhere and was delivered to my door for $7.00!  Other sites I have been checking out are Grocery Run, Babies R Us, Toys R Us, Target online, Pumpkin Patch and a host of other brilliant sites that are often run by Mum and Dad operators.  You can save so much money by doing your shopping around and shopping online! 

I don't even think it's worth driving to the shops anymore! 

Friday, September 02, 2011

Crazy Busy Disorganised Chaos.. But making progress :-)

Well life has slowly been returning to a 'new kind of normal' in our household this week. Jobs that were getting done by bedtime (such as making the bed, before you get in it.. or showering for the first time when you would normally be taking your nighttime shower etc..) have been getting done in a more timely fashion (even if mine and hubby's dinner was eaten at 11pm this evening!)  Organised chaos, isn't that what they call it?  Although I would probably still describe our household as disorganised chaos, compared to the 'before' shot.. but hey.. its early days and were still in the trial and error stage when it comes to forming a routine that works around Charlies, 'Non-routine'.  

 At this point in time, Hubby and I taking half the night each - one does the early bottle, one does the late and the bottle/s in between we are both awake for - we find we are both too drowsy to go this bottle alone & whilst one is feeding, the other is ironing the uniforms and preparing the lunches for the next day.  This seems to work well, although the last thing you feel like doing is ironing and preparing lunches at 2am.  Charlie seems to like sleep, but he tends to sleep more on his 'mobile basinettes' (aka - Mummy & Daddy) and his rocker over his basinette.  Im on top of the washing now (2 days ago after a few days rain was another story..) but the ironing pile makes Mt Everest look like a teensy hill - I really must tackle that tomorrow morning (although I think iv said that to myself for a month prior to Charlie's arrival!). 

My other littlies homework is all up to date and we have been enjoying our regular Thursday night shopping trip.. I like to keep things as normal as I can for him, I don't want him to feel like he is missing out now just because there is a baby in the house.  After all, he is my baby too and was used to having me largely to himself for 6 years.. Sometimes I feel insanely guilty when the times he wants to do something is bottle time, but getting him involved with Charlie and seeing their relationship is so heartwarming - he really is a great big brother and should be so proud of himself, as we are. 

Some of the things I am planning on embarking on next are;
* The ironing..
* The garden.. (planting out for Spring)
* Getting back into the swing of baking regularly
(I have 2 tubs of untouched cookie dough that cost a fortune sitting in the fridge..)
* Online shopping for groceries...
* Venturing out a little more..
* Organising a bills and budget folder to maximise my 'home' time.
*  Venturing back to work 1 day per week

So yes, I have a few things in the pipeline that I will chip away at for the next couple of months.. I know its early days yet and our family is still adjusting to adding a new little person to the mix, but we wouldn't have it any other way.. I can't say we are going to go back and have any more..we'll see what the future holds, but for now a grand total of 5 kids between, we couldn't ask for any more (Well maybe just a little more sleep.. hehehe).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The last 3 weeks..

The last 3 weeks in our household have been filled with baby goodness!! Our new addition, Charlie Oliver arrived on the 26th July and ever since our world has been a whirlwind of baby snuggles, bottles, sleepless nights and nappies :-)  But of course, we wouldn't change a thing because he is super adorable and we spend the majority of our days staring at the gorgeous little man... Born at 7lb 13oz, Charlie was  a lot smaller than i'd imagined him to be (after looking like I was carrying 3 babies of that size!) and when he was born, the first thing I exclaimed was 'Isn't he soo tiny!'  and hubby said 'Look at all that hair!' (after being used to bald, blonde babies).

We spent 4 days in the hospital, hubby stayed the first night with me, which was good as I was still attached to a drip from the c-section & it was nice for him to be able to get used to our little guy, we spent the majority of the night in awe of the little fella, amazed at how we made something so perfect. Since coming home, we've had a few sleepless nights (thank goodness for foxtel - we've watched quite a bit of Channel V and a whole heap of baby stories on Discovery Home & Health)  but we tend to take 'shifts' so we at least get a few hours sleep each -  I'v been doing the 'lates' and he the 'early's'. 

All of the other kids have settled in really well with a baby in the house and are all proud big Brothers and Sisters.. although my eldest Stepson has repeatedly forgotten his baby Brother's name, this is nothing unusual for him though.. he didn't remember his teachers name after the first term holidays.. odd!  

Well id best go and catch a few more Zzzz's whilst I can this morning.. Night all. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Baby Shower..

With one month to go until my due date, my lovely Mum and Aunty threw me a Baby Shower to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our little man.  My parents live in the country, so we decided on their home for the venue as they have such a pretty outlook and it's just so peaceful, clean and fresh in the mountain air.  The day was gorgeous and sunny and it was so lovely getting together with so many lovely female friends and family for good food and games. I created the games to play on the day and we played the following;

* Celebrity Mums and Bubs
You were allocated the name of a celebrity mum on a card & a separate card with a celebrity child's name on it. You had to wander around, introduce yourself to everyone and find your correct children.  I found this to be a great icebreaker and a good way to start off the games of the day.

* How many Jelly Babies in the Bottle?
I filled an Avent feeding bottle with jelly babies and the guests had to guess how many were in the bottle.

* Mum to Be 20 Q's
20 Questions about myself, my infancy and childhood.. the person with the most correct answers was the winner.

* The Price is Right
I put out 6 baby items and the guests had to guess the cost of each item, closest one to the complete total was the winner..

*Guess the Belly.
Using wool, the guests had to cut the wool to an approximate length that would fit around my pregnant belly.  People can be very unkind hahahaha.. Although 2 people nearly got it spot on in the end!

*A-Z of Baby Names and Baby Things
With 2 minutes on the clock, guests had to write down in alphabetical order - baby names and baby items starting with each letter of the alphabet.. first to finish their list, was the winner..

I also had a couple more games up my sleeve such as 'Guess whats in the nappy bag' and 'Baby food tasting' but I ended up running out of time and lunch looked too appealing, so we stopped playing games to have our delicious lunch, followed by a gorgeous cake that my friend made for me - take a look at the amazing inside!
(photo to come when blogger wishes to cooperate!)

and I opened some delightful gifts..

All in all it was a fantastic day and I had a wonderful time.. Thank you to all of those girls for making me feel very special xo

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Good afternoon Blog, long time - No see..

Well, I can't believe its been a month since I last posted on my blog! How time flies, when your having fun (or keeping busy, as in this case!) I am so thankful that it is school holidays and life has slowed down to the crawl that I intend to enjoy for the next 2 weeks..  So what has been happening in our little neck of the woods?  
* I had been busy with work but i'm finished now.. I finished up last Thursday, but prior to this I was trying to do a few days each week of relief work. 
* The days I wasn't doing relief work I was attending events at the kids school, doctors appointments or shopping.. filling most of my days in nicely from morning til school pickup!
* We finished organising the nursery, Hubby did a fantastic job in setting it all up and we decorated it together.. It is just as we'd both hoped and always imagined - very happy with it all.
* My Mum spent a few days in the hospital with a bad back, so I was up visiting her and helping her out in the week after she came home.. thankfully she is on the mend now, which is nice.. awful to see someone you love in so much agony.
*And on the weekend my Mum and Aunty threw me a lovely baby shower! Which was a gorgeous day with lots of gorgeous ladies in my life. I was in charge of creating the games, so that kept me busy for quite some time..

So nothing exciting or glamorous, just the day to day activities that keep us all busy.  So here I am - Kids on holidays, me on maternity leave, 4 weeks to go til the little Mr arrives and planning on enjoying the next few weeks before we're reintroduced to the world of babies.. Hope you have all been keeping well too..

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Isn't technology amazing..

Yesterday I went along and had a non-diagnostic 4D scan performed, Initially I had said I wasn't going to, as I wanted to leave something as a 'surprise' but in the end I decided to book in for one as my earlier scans never really gave me much insight into the little life growing inside of me.  I was so glad I did have a 4D scan now, because it was an absolutely awesome experience!  The place where I went was so lovely and professional and the ladies they couldn't have been nicer.  Up to 10 people were allowed to come and view the images, so Hubby, the kids and Mum came along for the experience which was so lovely having them all there and they were so in awe of what they saw on screen also.  The room was set up with recliners for the guests and a super comfy double bed for me to lie on, which tilted so I could see the screen.  The screen was massive and very easy to see the images on.

What we saw was that our baby is definitely a boy !! And he was in there sucking on the cord, hanging onto his feet and then he snuggled up and went to sleep.  At the end of the scan we got a page full of images, a DVD of the session and a cute little keyring. Mum bought a few additional key rings for us all and off we went.. since then, its been odd when the little guy moves, in a way knowing what he looks like.. it feels pretty surreal but its definitely bought a different level to the bond I feel at this point in time I'm anticipating meeting this little person, in person and taking in those chubby cheeks and lips..

I loved sharing this moment with the kids too, like all of the cuddles they give my tummy and how they talk to the little guy through my belly button, its been adorable hearing my Son talking about being an older brother and how he wants to teach his little brother all about the world.  With a little under 2 months to go the little guy has already found a  firm place in our family and the hearts of us all.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our Weekend..

So it's Sunday night - why do you get here so quickly?? I could easily do with another 1-2 days of weekend before I feel up to facing the week ahead again.

The weekend was good, Saturday was spent with the kids playing at home, washing, grocery shopping and generally pottering about.  The in laws paid a visit, to which I ask.. why is it, kids always go feral when you have company over? All day they played good as gold, but approx 30 seconds before Grandma & Grandad got here, they started to bicker and fight & generally turn into little monsters.. Within 30 seconds of them leaving, calm was once again restored... grrrr... The same behaviour emerges when the phone rings.. Jekyll and Hyde!

Today although we woke up to dreary showers we decided to take a drive to Currumbin Sanctuary on the Gold Coast as they were having May Mates Rates and admission was only $5 per person, with all proceeds going towards their hospital foundation.  The weather had mostly fined up when we got there and we had a great look around at all the animals and attractions.. the kids favourite were definitely the playground, flying fox and digging for fossils and I must admit I was quite impressed by the playground and loved the burrow like tunnels they had set up for the kids to play in..  Unfortunately by about 3pm it started to rain quite heavily and we had to cut our visit short, which was a bit of a bummer as we'd missed the lorikeet feeding and most of the shows. But all in all, it was a great day. 

A Koala doing what we should all be doing on a lazy Sunday..

Enjoying the Playground..

Flying fox fun..

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Parties & Baby Shower Inspiration.. Baby Countdown is on..

Well as of yesterday there is officially 10 weeks to go until the little one makes his arrival, which put me in a kind of panic - today there is only 69 days to go!  69 days will go in the blink of an eye I'm sure and at this point in time, I feel so disorganised..

I'm more than 100% certain that by this point last time (my memory may be a little fuzzy it was 7 years ago now) that I was more organised than this, I think I was adding the finishing touches.. not just starting! But oh well, I do still have 69 days to pull this whole thing together & I usually work better under pressure.

Another thing that we decided upon yesterday was my baby shower date, which my Mum and Aunty were so lovely to want to organise for me, I love a party or an excuse to party plan so I'm really looking forward to it on the 26th June (exactly 1 month before the little man's arrival) and having a get together with the lovely ladies I call my friends and family.

An avid reader of some gorgeous blogs, I love how some of these talented ladies are able to pull the most beautiful parties together, so pretty.. Recently Bianca's blog 'A Little Delightful'  featured her daughter's 1st Birthday party, a gorgeous array of pink and white spots! and Jade from 'Super Organiser Mum' is currently in full swing planning her Son's 1st birthday party (Jade does the most delightful parties).

So I started to peek around for ideas for my own baby shower, and at the moment I am umming and ahhing whether to go for a blue/white polka dot theme or a red theme.. The blue and white appeals because I'm having a beautiful baby boy, but I also agree, I'm going to be seeing a lot of blue and white in 10 weeks time, so maybe red - my favourite colour (the colour I love to use in my clothing (although not so much since being pregnant) and the colour I use in the majority of my home decor is a natural choice for my baby shower. 

In any case, I'm sure I will soon make a decision - aren't the following things gorgeous! Lucky they all come in both blue and red, so no matter which colour I decide on, I might have to splurge either which way :)

These gorgeous party supplies and more can be found at;

Ill post up some more gorgeous ideas later but for now I'm off to my first fortnightly Obstetrician appointment :) 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What I love about the cooler months :)

Now the cooler weather has well and truly set in, so has all of the lovely things I love about autumn/winter (which I must admit isn't as much as I love about the other seasons..) But the following things make the cooler months all the more tolerable, cuddly and cozy!

  • Dressing Gowns - Nothing like rugging up in the morning in a warm and fuzzy dressing gown.
  • Bed socks - I love my bed socks, so warm and toasty & cute..
  • Flannelet Sheets - Snuggling into Flannie sheets on a cold night is the bestest feeling!
  • Hot chocolates & Warm Milo's - Not being a coffee drinker, its the only time of the year that I wake up each morning to a nice warm drink to heat me up.  I might even add a marshmallow or two! I also love making the kids a nice warm milo before bed.
  • Warm showers with gorgeous body washes - need I say more..
  • Our pot belly stove - the photo frames come off of it and we stoke it up for a warm winter without the excessive heat bills.
  • Comfort food - Soups and stews and all things warm and gravy! YUMMO
  • Decadent deserts - Puddings, cakes and warm custards - although not every night though :P

And Iv yet to get these, but can't wait to squeeze them into the budget in the next few weeks to make winter even more tolerable;

Aren't these Lupin Heat pack bears absolutely ADORABLE! from Mellebug
I think Indigo and Nich need one to cuddle up to at night :)

Sunbeam heated throw rug.. if I could keep my eyes open long enough at night!

And that's my winter wish list so far..

Sunday, May 15, 2011

One of those days..

I've had a great week, filled with motivation - where no job seemed too big or too small, I felt on top of the domesticated goddess world (I blame nesting.. which I couldn't possibly keep up for the next 10 weeks, surely??) The house was clean by an insane hour, washing done, ironing done, errands run, dinner cooked and prepared during the day in advance, baking done etc etc.. need I go on any more - I felt organised and on top of the world - but today, I woke up and my motivation had packed its bags and disappeared overnight and I had one of 'those days' that could be best described as 'Why did I get out of bed this morning??' 

A day where everything seemed to take forever and I didn't even want to look into the freezer this morning and plan dinner, because dinner seemed too much effort even at 9am to contemplate..  Why this sudden lack lustre approach to daily life? I think because last night my son felt sick and when one of the kids is sick, my mind goes out the window.. and I can focus on nothing more than temperatures, keeping them warm/keeping them cool, Panadol, Nurofen and Dimetapp.  Although he had brightened by this morning and went with his Dad to see a movie, my nerves were frazzled and on high alert for the rest of the day.. still tonight, I can't sleep and keep checking on him to ensure he doesn't get warm again.. frantic, yes?  typical of me - yes.. likely to change? No..

So in answer to my "Why did I get out of bed this morning" only to make it again at 1pm, vacuum at 2pm, peg out washing in the dark and sulk until hubby cooked dinner - to be a Mum and take care of my little family.. which today, wasn't as shiny as it was all week.. but still everyone went to bed happy at the end of the day, none the worse off for cupcakes still sitting in their container un-iced or the gardens not being watered, kids dont tend to notice dust and chaos as much as us adults do - which I feel is a lovely quality to have, because at the end of the day.. none of that really matters does it? What matters is our family first.. and sanity second :)  (with lots of other good stuff in between).  So right now, i'd best head off to bed - tomorrow is another day and I'd like to start off on the right side of the bed in the morning (the Sunday sleep in side!) well here's hoping! xo

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Warm food for cold nights..

The past few nights we have been craving wintry foods as the weather has gotten so much cooler. I found these two yummy recipes that iv found are family friendly & super tasty too :)
Cheesy ham and macaroni bake

3 cups of Macaroni (when cooked)
2 cups of whole milk.
1/4 cup of plain flower
60g Butter
100g of ham or bacon diced up.
1 cup of grated cheese (for sauce)
extra cheese to top with.

How to make it;

1.Start by boiling you macaroni as per manufacturer's instructions in a salted pot of water.
2. In the meantime.. add 60g of butter to a saucepan on medium heat, heat until butter is bubbling then add 1/4 cup of flour to the butter and combine (mine went to a dough like texture)
3. Take the saucepan off of the heat and add 1 cup of milk to the butter mixture. Whisk until the butter, flour and milk is smooth - once smooth, add the remaining 1 cup of milk and continue to whisk until smooth. 
4. Return to the heat and constantly stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens, add chopped ham and 1 cup of grated cheese to the sauce and continue to mix.
5. When the sauce is thick, you can pour it over the cooked macaroni.
6. Once combined add it to a greased baking dish and top with grated cheese.
7. Pop it into a preheated 180 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.


Shepherds Pie
You will need;

500g of Beef Mince
1 cup of mixed peas/corn
1 brown onion diced
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 x Beef Stock cubes
2 Carrots, diced or sliced.
1 cup of grated tasty cheese to top before baking.

1. Wash, peel and cut up 6-8 potatoes and cook them in a saucepan til soft. Once soft, mash them with some milk and butter and set aside.
2. Brown the mince, onion and carrot in a frying pan.
3. Mix the tinned tomato's and stock cubes in a cup and pour over the top of the beef mixture.
4. Add the peas and corn.
5. Mix all together and let simmer (keep stirring) until the carrots soften.
6. Pour this mixture into the bottom of a casserole or baking tray and top with the earlier prepared mashed potato.
7. Top with grated tasty cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
8. Bake in a preheated oven of 180 degrees for approx 30 minutes until cheese is melted.


We served the macaroni and cheese with a side salad and the shepherds pie with chips and additional vegetables.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

As I fall into bed tonight,  I feel like one of the luckiest Mums in the world - I have had a wonderful Mother's Day and was spoilt terribly. From the moment I woke up I was given a big cuddle from my six year old Son and told I should be sleeping in because it was Mothers Day - How sweet.. He then bought me in an adorable little tea pot card and ferero rocher chocolate he had made at school, with more cuddles included :) 

I was then showered with gifts that my husband, son and stepkids chose the other evening - 2 gorgeous pairs of owl PJ's (cant get enough of owls at the moment), chocolates, Babushka doll drinking glasses and some little magnets in the shape of cakes - very cute.  I was then confined to my bedroom and left with a Better Homes and Gardens magazine (and my box of chocolates) whilst they cooked me Mother's Day Breakfast.

My Son wasn't impressed that I could smell bacon cooking as it would ruin my surprise, so he insisted on blindfolding me and leading me out to the breakfast table so I wouldn't know what my surprise breakfast was.. bacon, poached eggs, tomato's, mushroom and onion with toast & the cup of tea made from the tea bag that came with his school gift. So cute.

This afternoon was spent visiting my Mum at her place, was great to catch up and nice to spoil her on Mother's Day,  I have a great Mum who is my best friend, she is always there for me and is a wonderful person who is the only person I know in this world that can talk and shop as much as I can.  We are a perfect match!  

This year we focused primarily on handmade gifts that both I or the kids had made and its probably a tradition we're going to become more accustomed to, because it felt so nice to make something for someone over a shop bought gift, ill put a seperate post up about some of the Mother's Day craft that we did a little later on. 

So overall a very special day topped off with my Son's favourite dinner, tortelini with creamy sauce and garlic bread.  We were going to watch a movie tonight, but we were all a little tired, so we'll save that til tomorrow night when my Stepkids are home and we are going to do a little dinner rerun as they weren't able to come back for Mother's Day this year unfortunately.

So yes, as I fall into bed tonight I do really feel like the luckiest Mum alive, like im sure many other Mums around the world feel tonight.. I am a Mum, Stepmum and Mum to Be and with 5 special children, I couldn't ask for much more, the past 6 years have been the best years of my life and there is no where I would rather be, than waist deep in all of the washing, housework, cooking, fighting, homework, cuddles, laughter and craziness that being a Mum brings..

Happy Mother's Day to all of the special Mum's out there xo

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Back from yet another trip..

Anyone would start to think we were the holidaying type! but no, unfortunately it is rare for us to go on a holiday, let alone two in two weekends!  this time we travelled to Bundaberg QLD for my husband's, Pop's 80th Birthday and enjoyed 3 nights away with more swimming at the beach, collecting shells, going for walks, fishing and catching up with family..

Overall it was a lovely trip, but we are very happy to be home now with our pets and back in our own comfy beds.  For now we're going to hang up our holiday shoes and get back into reality.. that doesn't sound quite so fun does it? LOL.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Back to School..

Well the kids headed back to school today, I can't quite believe how FAST the holidays went! I could still do with an extra week (or two) I think.  So today is all about tidying up the kids bedrooms after the break, cleaning out the car after our holiday and topping up the fridge and the pantry before school pick up!   This term 2 of my 3 stepchildren come back to live with us for the entire term (aside from every second weekend) so the house will be a little more busier than normal. 

However, my eldest stepson, who turns 11 tomorrow, has decided to trial living with his Mum this term (aside from every second weekend)  and this was a decision we felt he was at liberty to make as it's something he has desired for many years now.. So that will be a big change in our household that will take a little getting used to over the upcoming weeks but we wish him the best & he knows he is always welcome back. 

This morning my Stepdaughter Hayley went off to school camp - rather excited and each of the boys went to school elated to have $1 in their pockets to buy a fundraising chocolate with..

Life is busy, life is good.. life is normal :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Long Weekend Camping.

A few weeks ago we decided we would give camping a go for the Easter long weekend, not having camped since my childhood and never having camped with children before, I knew it would either be an experience we would either love or loathe.  But it was an experience Hubby and I have been eager to embark on for the past couple of years, we just never got around to it (we always fell for the allure of hotels/houses for our past holidays instead!)  BUT I'm so glad we did give it a go, because thankfully we loved it & we're glad to have given the kids a different perspective on holidaying.  We headed to North Stradbroke Island, which is a short ferry trip off of Brisbane, Queensland - It's a gorgeous island, we fell in love with it last August when we stayed in a holiday home over there and so far to date it's my favourite holiday destination. 

Gorgeous weather for our first camping trip..

Our campsite, early morning..

We had the first night to ourselves as a family, which was nice to set up, explore and relax just the six of us and the next day we were joined by my Husband's family (they were the ones who initially invited us & had the two campsites next to ours).  We spent an enjoyable 3 days swimming at the beach, going for walks, eating yummy food and relaxing at the campsite and the kids got to enjoy time playing and fighting with their cousins ad mist all of this. 

Kids swimming at Cylinder Beach, our favourite beach, all time!

Easter Sunday was also spent on the island and the kids awoke to find the Easter Bunny had visited our tent and scattered mini crunchie eggs everywhere and left them a bag of goodies at the end of their beds.  They were rather excited

Carrots, Milk and Letters for the Easter Bunny

We headed back Sunday afternoon, so nice to be homeward bound - as relaxing as it is to be on holidays, it is always nice to return back home, my Brother had house/pet sit for us & as usual he'd done a terrific job and all of our pets were waiting for us, excited as ever..

So overall, we were blessed with great weather and great conditions for our first camping trip - I'll give it two thumbs up & definitely be back! 

Hubby overlooking the Headland @ Point Lookout.

One Happy Camper.. LOL

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

School Holidays.. *Bliss* & School Friend Gifts.

After a long and drawn out 12 weeks, we have finally reached the school holidays.  I love school holidays for their sleep in's, late breakfasts, extended PJ wearing time (particularly now it's getting cooler) and of course getting to do some wonderful activities and spending time with the kids. 

On the last day of school my Son took in a little present for each of his school friends and a chocolate bunny for his hard working teacher, I have made this a tradition each year for special occasions since he started Kindy 2 years ago and he really enjoys handing out these little gifts to his friends. 

Last year and the year before I used the little Easter marshmallow shapes and chocolate eggs, but this year I took a simpler approach and opted to use the little plastic eggs I have often seen at discount stores and we placed a chocolate egg and some easter stickers in each one, sealed them up with another easter sticker and sent them on their way :)  I also sent an additional bag of eggs for him to hand out randomly to friends (at $1 you can't go wrong.. )

My son said his friends loved them, they didn't take me all night to prepare (as these gifts often do) and it was something he could help me out with each step of the way!

Cute Chicken & Bunny Craft.

Today Indi and I tackled two Easter craft projects that I found on Bianca's blog, A Little Delightful

One involved making a hand print Easter chick & the other a cotton wool bunny.. both were a lot of fun, so cute and will make gorgeous Easter cards.  I love that you use the hand print for the chick's wings & it was so fun actually making the hand print, we used paint & tracings of his hand for each of the different chickens. 

I decided to pop some split pins into the 'wings' so the hands could move up and down also, this was an addition I added in after the photographs. Such a simple craft activity but it was a favourite in our home today xo

Meal Planning Monday

I dont know why I just dont call this post, 'Meal Planning Wednesday..'  once again it's Wednesday and im only just getting around to putting it up for the week.. Im going to blame school holiday fun this time round (I say its healthy to always have an excuse or two up ones sleeve..) Lets see how I go with meal planning 'Monday' incorporating the Easter long weekend..

The picture above is of a delicious easter cake I made yesterday and although it came out of a packet (Betty Crocker - Devil's Food Cake) I had so much fun making my first official double layered cake and it was super easy.. I used 2 cake tins and sandwiched the 2 together with jam and fresh cream. I topped it with the included icing & some candied chocolate eggs from Big W.  I ended up making 2 of these, 1 for an easter morning tea we went to & the other for our eating pleasure :-)  (per hubby's request..) 

Monday - we had yummy chicken breast with pumpkin, potato, broccolini, peas, corn, capsicum and carrots with gravy!

Tuesday - My son had chicken and prawn noodles for dinner & a plateful of cheese and cherry tomato crackers, I intended on getting back up and having pea and ham soup (as hubby was working late) but I dozed off and didn't end up eating dinner at all..

Wednesday - Beef and Vegetable Casserole, done in the slow cooker..

Thursday -    Hot Dogs with the lot.. (bacon, cheese, onion, mustard and tomato sauce)

Friday -        Since it's 'Good Friday' i'm saying fish and cooked green prawns & salad on the side.

Saturday -    BBQ of some description..

Sunday -      Usually I am one to go with a traditional easter roast (but I will be making
that on Monday) tonight for lack of time, spaghetti bolognaise is on the menu :)

Monday -     Lamb Roast with roast vegies. 

Tuesday -    Back to school - Kid's choice.. :-)

Baking List:
Choc Chunk Cookies
Apple and Cinnamon Muffins
Chocolate Fudge Cake

Recipe's I would like to try this week;
Baked Fish on the BBQ
Garlic Prawns
Homemade Potato Salad

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Meal Planning * cough cough * Monday.. (Wednesday)

Gee where do the days go? One day its Sunday, the next it's early Wednesday! Can't quite believe how fast this week is travelling by.. Not that i'm complaining, the school holidays start in our house this coming Friday so i'm very much looking forward to that.  It's definitely been a very very long term and I think we are all in need of a break..

Meals this week;

Monday (was):  Steak Burgers with Onion, Egg, Tomato, Cheese, Beetroot, Spinach Leaves, olives and BBQ and Tomato Sauce.

Tuesday (was): Beef and Vegetable Ravioli pillows with Lean Beef and Roast Vegetable Sauce.

Wednesday:      Fried Rice

Thursday:         Eat out night to celebrate the end of school term & my son's school awards day!

Friday:              Thai Green Chicken Curry

Saturday:          Fish and Salad with homemade pumpkin and potato salad.

Sunday:            Roast of the week - Pork Roast with Roast Vegies

On the Bake List:

To bake this week;
Devils Food Cake (evil Betty Crocker packet mix I have sitting in the cupboard..)
Mixed Berry Muffins
Choc Chunk Cookies..

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My take on Egg Baskets..

When I saw these on the Blog 'A Little Delightful I was super impressed and decided to give them a shot for this morning's breakfast. I had done a trial one, with one lonely egg that I had leftover in the fridge earlier in the week, but my Son turned his nose up at it (not unusual as he's not a big egg fan..)  So this morning I altered the recipe a little..

What you will need;
A muffin tray - I used a standard size.
Bread with the crusts removed, as I was feeding 6 I made all 12 so we could have 2 each.
Baking paper
Grated cheese

I started by preheating the oven to 180 degrees & then lined all of my cupcake tray with squares of baking paper. I then pushed the bread (with the crusts removed) into the baking tray to form little cups. I then placed some grated cheese into the bottom of all of these bread cups and some shaved ham.  I then made 3 with spaghetti for the non-egg lovers and the remainder with eggs.  I found I needed to remove some of the egg white as I was using XL eggs and they were overflowing the muffin tray. 

I then popped them into the preheated oven with some salt and pepper on top for 1/2 hour.

Today they were a hit.. even the spaghetti ones which tasted super yum and it goes to show how endless the possibilities are when adding ingredients.. You could try almost anything onions, tomatoes, bacon etc..

Friday, April 08, 2011

A Little Life Lesson in Money

I won this cute little fella a couple of weeks ago on the Beyond the Baby Facebook page, thanks to Money Savvy Kids  It arrived in yesterday's mail and this morning was spent, setting it up and explaining how it all worked, it was a lot of fun having the 'money discussion' (I wish someone would have had the same discussion with me, when I was younger)

The money savvy pig has 4 slots unlike your traditional money box, which only has the one - Save, Spend, Donate and Invest.. So I went through and explained each of the areas to Mr 6 as best I could (I'm not too crash hot on the save and invest myself, so I hope I covered it well!)  I'm sure I covered the spend accurately though! No,seriously.. after explaining EACH area fully (using the handy little booklet that comes with the money box) we set up some of the goal stickers that came with the piggy.  He decided in his 'SAVE' slot, he would like to save for a new craft set, he decided $20 was his goal for his 'SPEND' slot and after getting $20 in there, he would like to take it to the store & buy something, his 'DONATE' slot he is going to use to put into various charity boxes at stores and the 'INVEST' slot is so far going to be used for an Ipod (which at age 6 is a big investment of course!).  The book encourages using the INVEST slot for future expenses such as cars or education, but when explained to Mr 6, he decided to Ipod would be an excellent investment for his 2012 future, perhaps we'll tackle University at 7.. hehehehe..

We then set about emptying his old money box, into the new. 

I empty out my purse at the end of each week and give all the silver coins (20c and under) to the kids equally in their money boxes, its amazing how quickly they tend to add up, so Mr 6's money box was full of mostly 5c and 10c coins and of course the odd $1 or $2 that he gets from odd jobs or change from his pocket money.  I got out my trusty purse and we 'exchanged' a lot of his 5c coins for larger currency such as 50c, $1.00 or $2.00 coins and I found this too was a great lesson in money - IE. "How many 5c coins do you think makes up 50c?" and  "If I give you $1.00, how many 10c coins will you need to give me?"  so on and so forth..  it was a lot of fun.

So there we have it, a new piggy bank.. I'm hopeful to swap over all the kids money boxes to this style over the upcoming months, I think it may help them to learn a valuable life lesson and will eliminate finding an empty money box (such as I did in Miss 9's room today) seems she may have made a withdrawal from it for the tuck shop quite regularly of late and decided to leave only 5c behind.. (oh well you cant blame a girl for taking after her Stepmother!) but perhaps the Money Savvy Piggy Bank may help her too (maybe I should grab one for myself while I'm at it).

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Some of the blogs I love!

I adore that I found the world of blogging & even moreso adore that I found lots of gorgeous blogs from such clever women that I love to read whenever I get a chance to sit with a cuppa.  These blogs give me great inspiration for craft, recipe's, my home and life in general and I thought i'd share some of my favourite blogs that I love to read with you;

Super Organiser Mum


Two Little Tots (Gruber Girls)

A Little Delightful

Sunny Side Up

Clover Lane

My Pigeon Pair
Landee See, Landee Do

The Organised Housewife

Happy reading, im sure you will find something you love in each of them!