Friday, May 31, 2013

Slowing down

I need to slow down. Really. How do I know this?
Yesterday I locked the car keys in the house so I had to call a few people to pick up the kids from school and then send me the spare house keys. There's suppose to be a spare key in the laundry (cos it's not the first time I've done this) but it wasn't there. (Oh yeah, I used it last week!) Today, I decided to check my run-about bag and the little zipper compartment in the back. Whaddya know? My spare key was there!!! I could have saved myself, lol.

I've also forgotten to buy this sachet for colour runs (to save the red stripey shoes I doused in bleach for my daughter which are now considerably pink all over) even though I've been to the shops, oh about three times now.

So, our slow days have been about playing in the cubby house in the backyard (whilst I hang laundry) and getting her to help me cook. I use to cook all the time with my eldest girl but this girl needs to get some cooking action. So I bought some White Wings Lunchbox heroes - Banana Choc Chip Muffins.

I like pre-mixed boxes because you only need to spend some time adding extra ingredients and then you're just about done. Yes, I am very time poor and I know I could scour the internets for my own recipe but these are really good so why make myself go crazy and put all that extra effort onto myself?

We mixed it up with the few extra ingredients and somehow I must be too generous with my serves and we only had 10 cupcakes instead of 12 little ones. Oh well, the adult size *ahem* muffins are for me.

They really do taste delicious. My verdict 10/10. Next up, apple and cinnamon slice, also, from White Wings.

p.s This is not a paid post, I just like White Wings. And baking.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A very busy life

Happy Belated Mother's Day mums. I had a lovely day and hubby bought me some clothes on behalf of the kids, awwwww.

So, sorry to keep you guys in suspense. I've been sick with the flu this week. Boy, was it awful. My head was hurting, my back and body aching, feeling chills and wanting to sleep forever. I only took some Panadol but a Vicks Vapor rub steam bowl was pretty good at relieving the head cold. It was a really cold weekend which made me feel a lot worse. Time for soups and fresh juices methinks.

So, anyway, I popped all the names on pieces of paper, stuck them to little binder clips and had my three year old pick out two of them. So, the winners of the Woolworths gift cards cards are: (drumroll!):
Nadine of Adagio Alpacas and Kerry D (from Facebook comments). Please e-mail me your mailing addresses and I will try my best to get them out this week or else early next week.

Before I fell ill, I was busy planning out some long sleeved t-shirts for my almost 2year old. I think this one came out quite alright. I traced a size 2 shirt he has but since it's still a little large on him it's not as fitted as I'd like so maybe I'll try to slim it down a little.
I had this kind of light bub moment where  you stick the pins down the arm holes and neckline so that when you remove them and the shirt, you are left with an imprint of the pattern marking on the piece of paper underneath!

This is the Muksis Jersey Top Ottobre pattern I found that I had been keeping (for oh about 3 years) and had never tried it until now. I tried this in size 80 and extended the sleeve and since it was my first time with sewing on ribbing, it was kinda stretched so I'll be needing a lot more practise. How does Dana of MADE make it look so easy! I used my twin needle to sew it on but I like the way it turned out. I may or may not try the smaller size out of this Ottobre pattern. I'm undecided. Actually, I don't have really nice knit fabric to use. They seem to be all light and not thick enough.

It's getting soooo much colder first thing in the morning and early evening. It's definitely time for warmer clothes and hoodies though. I picked up some great sales from Pumpkin Patch online for the older kids, like winter jackets for $32 each with free delivery!!!

I'm still coughing so I better have another cup of tea and rest a little before school pick up and another hectic evening. Is it only me or does it seem like there's JUST TOO MUCH TO DO!? Homework, lunches, dinner, groceries, charity work, exercise, laundry, cleaning, reading, sewing (not much of that)...
Anyway, if you made it this far, good for you. Go and have a cup of joe. XOX.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mysteries of Life

Photo from

You may or may not have heard the sad news about the passing of Whip-Up founder Kathreen Ricketson. I found the article related to her circumstances on WA today (just this morning) but I've only discovered the news from other blogs yesterday. It's very tragic and sad. I believe that everything happens because that's the crap that does happen in life. There is no 100% happiness. We can't avoid it or see it coming. Bad things happen to really good people. It sucks but it does happen and I try not to think about but instead pray for their families. They will be closer together, become stronger and more resilient in life.

We will be keeping the family in our prayers and hope that God will heal their pain. They have set up a fund for the children's education and the details can be found on the blog site. Hug your children tighter, be kind to everyone and enjoy the all moments whilst we are still here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Day on a Plate with Dr Joanna McMillian + giveaway!

When I was asked if I was interested in submitting "My Day on a Plate" for Dr Joanna McMillan, I didn't hesitate to say Yes; even if I was a tad bit apprehensive about letting her know my bad eating habits. I have been a huge fan of hers ever since I watched an episode of the Biggest Loser where she asked them which foods were good or bad (pointing towards a massive table of all sorts of food you could think of). It knocked my socks off when she said "None of them are bad, it's just food." I could have hugged and kissed my t.v right then and there!

Dr Joanna is a leading nutritionist and is the ambassador of Australian Pineapples.
She is a registered nutritionist with a PhD in nutritional science. Her philosophy on diet is pretty simple - eat more fresh wholesome foods and fewer processed, packaged foods.

So I give you: My Day on a Plate :

7.30am cup of coffee (one Natvia sweetener, soy milk)
two slices of toast with butter and vegemite

10am - Snack: apple, cup of tea ( (one Natvia sweetener, soy milk)

12pm - Lunch: one Lean Cuisine Cheese and  Cracked Pepper Chicken Pasta
Cup of water

3pm : afternoon: cup of tea (milk and one Natvia sweetener) or small yoghurt

5.30pm: dinner: 4 rice paper rolls filled with chicken breast, vermicelli noodles, cucumber, lettuce, chilli sauce.

7pm snack: Banana

It wasn't very exciting and it certainly showed that I am a very time poor (slack) person when it comes to feeding myself. I was really excited and nervous when booking in my maiden Skype session with her!

So here is Dr Joanna talking to me!!! Isn't she beautiful. She was soooo lovely to talk to and helped me identify foods that were missing in my diet. For breakfast she suggested that I include nutrient dense fruits such as berries, pomegranates etc and preferred eggs over the toast. She wasn't a big fan of toast and vegemite, which understandably has more salt than anything else. For lunch she could see that the Lean Cuisine was for convenience but alternatively, I should be having wholesome soups. It's a really smart way to include vegies and other nutrients into your diet so I will definately have a go at that. 

I need to include a lot more vegies in my rice paper rolls such as: capsicum, bok choy, beans etc. She said there's nothing wrong with having the sweetener instead of sugar but definately, steer clear of the artificial ones like Equal (darn, it tastes so good). I could also try skim milk if I didn't want to have the soy milk and I could mix white pasta and wholemeal pasta to appease the kids.

So, I was madly writing these things down while trying to be part of my own consultation. I still can't believe I got to speak with her. I tried not to say anything wierd that would blow my cover as a woman who consciously chooses 2 minute noodles when I can't be bothered to cook. The month prior I had scoffed down more Easter eggs than my kids knew they owned. Ha ha ha. Hence, my reason for a healthier diet. My waistline was beginning to show my bad habits.

Dr Joanna says: "Pineapples are the perfect fruit to use in recipes as they are incredibly good for you and can be used in so many ways, from curries to quinoa. Just one pineapple is enough for the whole family."

As well as high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Bromelain, Manganese and Potassium, fresh pineapples deliver a delicious taste and help support a balanced diet. For more information please check out Dr Joanna's web site: and Australian Pineapples.

Dr Joanna has these awesome pineapple recipes from the Australian Pineapple website. This is the Pineapple, Sweet Chicken and Chilli Curry that I made at home. It was really, really yummy to eat. Admittedly, I don't use pineapple in any of my cooking but it gives a wonderful just sweet enough flavour so I will definately eat this again. I did have some left over roasted pumpkin so I added that to it instead of adding more chicken.

I also served this with brown rice that I cooked on the stove top. It was a simple and delicious lunch that would easily be for dinner but it's rather spicy so not for the young ones. You could eliminate the red curry paste and just use coconut milk for the kids. 

My tip for eating healthier: Listen to your body. Your body will tell you if a certain type of food is making you feel bloated afterwards or giving you an upset stomach so eliminate it or reduce your intake. If you eat slowly, savouring the flavour, and then stop when you are full, you are on your way to eating better portions. I suggest Dr Jo's plate model (see her website) as a great guide to eating better.

Would you like to win a $75 Woolworths voucher? Send me your yummy pineapple or healthy eating recipe to be in the running. One extra entry if you post about it on your blog!

** I've just added a Facebook Page:
for comments where you can post your recipe and comment. There seems to be problems with adding comments here. You can do either, whichever works best for you. Thanks everyone!!!

I'll draw two winners next week!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

While you were sleeping.

While everyone is asleep in the evening I clean up the kitchen and lounge (most nights, not all) and then I spend some time on the computer. It's the only time I have that is completely un-interrupted. 

Tonight I downloaded some pictures from the camera and found these gems. Above is an actual possum who frequents our place. There it is, perched on our garage, looking for food I suppose. We can hear the thud on the tin shelter as it leaps from roof to roof. They are very agile and they don't bother us; only the poop they leave behind (in the kids tree house). It's not nice, esp. when little toddlers get a hold of them (ewww).

I also found these pictures very intriguing. Apparently, I have a budding photographer on our hands. My 5yr old son obviously took a liking to his eraser buddies (from Big W if you are interested) and Mr Frog has taken centre stage. It's all very cute, as you'll see.

Eraser line-up. Which one is the cutest??

Mr Frog takes a leap! I might have to get him to take a few more pictures and see what he comes up with. It makes my heart melt when I see things like this. I was berating him before about playing with my camera. So now I feel guilt. Mothers guilt. I better give him a hug.

Here is our sushi station. The kids quite like sushi so every so often I whip out a Glad Baking sheet and we make sushi. The sheet makes it really easy to roll. Especially when said children have taken your bamboo mat and shredded the pieces up. Very funny... for them. Not, for me. I'm glad they like sushi because I would not call them my kids if they didn't. My favourite is the California roll though so I might have to look into making our own. Here I have pan fried chicken breast, cucumber and avocado. Must try to include more vegies (for me, not for them, I have picky eaters).

I've been trying to eat healthier lunches lately. Those are VitaWeat Lunch Slices with cream cheese, cucumber and salmon. I was inspired by Planning with Kids writer Nicole Avery, who switched to some Cruskitts and lost some weight. Seems like an easy way to make some meal changes without sacrificing flavour (and starving!)

Here are the kids enjoying some reading time. We recieved a surprise package from Scholastic last week. It was perfect timing as I was sick and feeling a bit weighed down. Thanks Sarah H. You are the best!!! Scholastic had released some new titles:

10 Hooting Owls by Ed Allen is our favourite out of all of them. It's a very funny animal version of the popular song "Ten Green Bottles" and when my son sings it I love it. He has the cutest kid voice. Even hubby enjoyed it (yes, they made their dad read it to them, Haa haaa haa haa)

How to Catch a Monster by Christina Bollenbach is a tale about courage, of facing the fear of the monster in the dark. The illustrations are very pretty. At first the little ones were a bit scared but once we knew what kind of monster it was, then they enjoyed it. That's the book that they are reading in the photo's. My year 1 girl is reading it to them and needed a bit of help with some words.  It's great she can read to her siblings.
The last book was Bad Dog Flash by Ruth Paul. It's a very simply worded book about a dog who always gets into trouble. My Kindy boy can read this book. He's still learning to read on his own but this book is perfect for him. So we'll be keeping these books on the top shelves for night-time reading. My rule is that they need to have their pyjamas on and have brushed their teeth before I read so I never get any whining or "but mummy" from them about this rule. I wish it was just as easy as the rest of the other things I want them to do.

If you've made it this far down the post, well done. It's about 11.19pm here (let's be exact) and I've got one or two shirts to iron before I hit the sack. It's all about late nights in this house but I try not to make it too much of a habit. 

We've had really great sunny days lately but the mornings and evenings are chilly in Sydney, Oh-stray-lee-ah (Australia). That's Autumn (Fall) for you. I have in my mind a girls Winter coat from my Japanese book and perhaps I shall get around to my own Tova. Much is to be anticipated.

Including, my very own personal consultation with the beautiful Dr Joanna McMillan. YES, I got to Skype with her today!!!! Un-freaking believable! Of course, I am very blessed enough to be able to have a Woolworths voucher giveaway along with it so stay tuned my friends. And keep warm!!!