Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Recording Christmas

The first Christmas I was married, my mother-in-law showed me their family Christmas journal.  It recoreded all their Christmas's over the years, including what they did, who they spent it with and what family member's received from Santa and others.  That year (over 9 Christmas's ago) I started our very own Chirtsmas journal.  I keep it really simple, no fancy scrapbooking, which helps ensure I fill it in even when it is such a busy time of year.  I record what each person receieved (and from whom), and where we spent Christmas.  Add a photo or two and my journal entry for the year is complete.

It is a really simple idea, but a great record of our family. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

...Christmas crazy

I have been saving toilet paper rolls all year.  I don't think I have thrown one away...all a part of my plan to wrap my gifts really cute this year.  That's not crazy is it? 
On a different topic baby boy and I went christmas card shopping this week...when I do buy Christmas cards I always try and get them from here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sunny Days

A few weeks ago our hot water system died, so we decided to take the opportunity to upgrade to Solar Hot water.  So far it has been great.  We turned the booster off last week and are experimenting to see how many overcast/rainy days we need in a row before we need to turn the booster back on.  So-far-so-good, and I will be waiting patiently for our next electricity bill to see what a difference it is going to make.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"I am happy Mummy"

Things I am enjoying at the moment;

1. Yoga - I found a new class and I love it!
2. My new wardrobes - it is so nice to have room to actually see all my clothes without any of them living on the floor.
3. Going to the Park with baby boy - the weather is getting warmer during the day.
4.  Anticipating attending these markets on Saturday night - they are close to home and on a saturday (yay!).

We drove out of the driveway this morning and baby boy said "I'm Happy Mummy" ...you got it kid!
(Photo sourced from here)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lucky finds

I really have great luck sometimes, in particular in finding really great second hand jeans.  I gave up on buying new jeans years ago (just got sick of trying on so many pairs) and started buying them at op/thrift shops.  And I really have been lucky.  Just this week I decided I needed new jeans (have grown out of my last pair) and turned up at my first 'vinnies' to find a perfect pair of 'Jag' jeans in just my size (already worn in to the comfy stage).  $12 later  (and after a good wash) I am living in these jeans.  What have been your best thrift store finds?

(Unfortunately I am a bit of a second hand snob.  Jeans, the occasional kids toys, kids shorts, books and puzzles are usually what I look out for when visiting an op shop/ thirft store).  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I love pizza!

We love pizza in our house!  I mean we really say those words....and this week we discovered our new love, homemade pizza dough in the kitchenaid.  So good!  I followed this easy recipe:

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2 cups plain flour


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl.
  2. Add salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cup flour.
  3. Attach bowl and dough hook, turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute.
  4. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to dough hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 2- 5 minutes.
  5. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  6. Cover, let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
  7. Punch dough down.
  8. Brush 14 inch pizza pan with oil.
  9. Press dough across bottom of pan forming collar around edge to hold filling Top with fillings and bake at 200 degrees celcius for 15 to 20 minutes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Do we still not get it?

I work part-time, and am very blessed to have a really easy and flexible boss who allows me to choose my work days and lets me work from home when I need to.  I don't mind my work, but if we were rich I would rather stay home full-time.  I have worked in my organisation for a really long time, but what really suprises me is when colleagues of mine wonder what I do with all my 'spare time'.  Even today a lady I work with asked me what I do when I am not at work...I have 2.5 year old...isn't that answer enough??  She was also suprised when I told her I don't ever plan on returning to work full-time.  So even when society tells us that being a mother is important why are people still so suprised when we choose to leave our careers to raise our children.  I thought people had got that already...

Monday, August 22, 2011

A recent change...

For a few months now I have been thinking about how the animals that we eat are raised...in particular pigs.

So I have been making a concsious decision to buy free range ham, pork and bacon.  I think sometimes we are under a bit of an illusion imagining a friendly farmer lovingly raising his animals in green open pastures till the day they are made into the meat on our plate.  I hope that the animals I eat are raised that way...but in reality they probably aren't.  The fact is that most pork products we buy are from animals raised in tiny stalls where they can barely stand up or see other pigs, they never see outside or are able to furrow in dirt (I won't post any photos of it...it's pretty distressing).

So I am trying, (where I can get enough information) to make a more informed choice, and support those farmers that are living that nice vision in my head.

For more information you can read this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Finding a good fit

Have you ever tired an 'alternative therapy' ?  Over four years ago I started monthly reflexology sessions with an wonderful reflexologist that lives not far from me.  I just found her on the internet, but must have struck gold because she was wonderful (and the proof of that is that I stuck with her for so long...I am not usually that loyal to health professionals).  I love reflexology because not only is it good for me (boosting my immune system, helping in my pregnancy & treating general ailments etc) but it was really relaxing and enjoyable.  I was reminded of just how relaxing it was when today I went to get some accupuncture....useful-yes, enjoyable-no.   

My reflexologist retired last month so now I am on the hunt to find myself another 'Jan'.  I have found over the years that with health professionals, you can be as selective and biased as you want...its all about you, so don't worry about offending them if you don't want to go back, or just want to try someone else.  If they are good, they will not mind a bit.

The same rule as applies to the health professional also applies to the therapy.  Not every alternative therapy will suit everyone, so find one that you understand and suits your situation.  In my experience you will know if it is a good fit, because you will make the effort to go back a second time.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Falling in love again

We have now lived in our house the longest of any other home in our marriage.  It was starting to annoy me...and I wanted something new.  Unfortunately in today's housing climate, and if we are trying to be responsible we really should stay in this home for many more years.  

The solution:  Falling in love with my home again!
I am doing this in a few ways:
1. List all the things I love about my home....location, the backyard etc.
2.Make sure I have a place for everything I need.  
We have started to rethink storage in our home and have already redone the laundry in this fantastic system (it was well worth the money).  We are also redoing our wardrobe spaces to follow the theme of 'a home for everything'.
3.Re-evaluate our stuff.  
This guy is my mentor and I re-read his book regularly.
4.  Remember how nice it is when the whole house is clean...all at the same time!
5.Move furniture around to give a fresh new look  + my failsafe feelgood item: buy a new bedspread.

And not officially on the list, but one that I have realised effects me a lot "Remember that summer is just around the corner".  Qld homes are just not designed for cold weather!

So here is to a fresh look on old things...and saving money in the meantime.

Monday, July 11, 2011

New skills

I am loving my new KitchenAid and it really has been motivating me to cook more and try out new recipes.  My first recipe was "Gluten-free Chocolate cupcakes" and was lots of fun to make because I had one of my favourite nieces helping me!

I have also used it to make some cakes, mashed potato and can't wait to try it out to make some pizza dough!  I will keep you posted.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Australian Breastfeeding Association

Today I spent some time volunteering at the 'Pregnancy & Baby Expo' for this amazing organisation (of which I am a member).  I loved it!  I love telling people about the ABA, as it is so helpful and provides such valuable support for Mums & Dads.  Before we had baby, hubby and I went to one of their breastfeeding education classes, and it wasn't until after baby had been here for a few weeks that I realised how valuable it was to attend.  Having been given all the information before the birth, I was then able to feel confident to make my own decisions for me and baby. 

I will continue to support and be a member of this organisation as long as I can.  Being involved in the ABA has also helped me realise how many people are out there in the world spending a lot of their time and resources trying to help others- and makes my one hour today pale into insignificance.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It was my birthday..

It was my birthday this week, one of the big ones that has a zero on the end, and I received one of these.... :-)

Now I have to learn how to use it...I could have some new skills coming.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Smiling on a Tuesday

I saw this quote this morning and it made me laugh.  It also reminded me that my Chickens are living the good life at the moment...they haven't layed a thing in over 3 weeks...don't tell man-of-the-house.  He's not as understanding of the the whole animal thing as me ;0)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Meat free Mondays...we are leaning into it

Our house is slowly leaning into 'Meat free Mondays'.  I have felt I wanted to give it a try after quite a few things I have read and watched lately(inparticular 'Food Inc' the movie).

We are leaning in as 1.  Man-of-the-house loves meat and 2.  All my best recipes are meat based.  

So on Monday night we compromised by having vege burgers with home made wedges, and man-of-the-house got free range bacon on his as well. So...its happening slowly.  If anything it has also made me aware that I can really vote with my wallet, and encourage companies to make small changes.  eg.  One of our major ham produces now sells free range bacon.

Here's to trying something new!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Its been raining...I have succumbed to the dryer

Its been raining a lot around here, and this is not our wet season.  And as much as I try to avoid using it (mainly due to the fact that half our house steams up) I have been using the dryer on a pretty regular basis.

I have read up about using dryer balls to increase your dyer efficiency and was going to go out and buy some big plastic ones, until by total chance I spotted these little cuties:

Tumblemonkeys, they are made from wool felt and are so gorgeous I want to use them in every cycle.  Plus...just looking at them makes me smile!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Just in time for Easter

Every year for Easter my Mum would buy the Grandkids new winter pyjames, and this year with Mum gone I have been motivated to sew baby boy his very own handmade pair.

I used the 'Snug as a Bug PJs' pattern from this talented lady, and was so impressed with how easy and quick they were to make (and quick is important to me, as sewing with a two year old in the house is pretty tricky).

I bought some plain shirts and added some embelishment, and now I have some cute dino jammie pants with two matching shirts (all prepared for breakfast to be spilt on them).

Happy Easter everyone!  
I heard on the radio the other day that the motto for easter should be small quanities of good quality chocolate (and if it is fairtrade even better).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Let them eat cake (well it was bread actually)

With banana's so expensive at the moment, you don't want any to go to waste.  Here is what I love to do with banana's.
My favourite banana bread recipe
90g unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed (over-ripe) banana (about 2 large banana's)
1 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour

1. Preheat oven to 160 degress (fan forced).  Grease and line loaf pan.
2. Beat butter, vanilla and sugar in a bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Stir in banana then sifted flours, in two batches.  Spread mixture into a pan; cover with a strip of pleated foil.
3. Bake bread 40 min; uncover, bake about 30 min.

(I love to add about a teaspoon or 2 of cinnamon in the mix, and I also sprinkle extra cinnamon on top before baking)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Curb-side-pick-up...the unofficial recycling program

 (photo sourced from here)
Do you have curb-side-pick-up where you live?  It happens here a couple of times a year when you receive a letter in the mail telling you a magic date which then gives you and everyone living in the designated suburb permission to put everything and anything that once was in your house/garden/shed/attic onto the side of the road.  It is so interesting as you drive around the streets to catch a small glimpse of peoples lives by the type of 'stuff' that gets thrown on the curb.  However, even more interesting/satisfying (and has actually been my entertainment for a few days) is watching all the 'enterprising' recyclers who come and pick up all the 'stuff' before council picks it up.    Ranging from  professionals with trucks to little kids with wagons everything that could be used, sold, broken down for copper and steel has been picked up in the light of day; or for the more self concious...in the dead of night.

24hrs is all it took for one of our chairs to go...it was a bit like waiting for the tooth fairy, wondering when it would go...how long it would take from when I put it on the curb.

Lets just hope it doesn't end up on the curb next pick up...

Friday, March 4, 2011

play time

I must admit that sometimes my 'play' time with baby boy isn't as imaginative as I would like.  We get so busy that sometimes I forget that instead of just pulling out some toys I need to actually sit down with him and play, and show him the diffrent ways he can play with his toys so he can then use his imagination to take it further. 

This week I bought the beautiful wooden castle above (and I will be honest and say that good wooden toys aren't cheap), but as soon as we bought it home and put it together I felt relieved that my expense was all worth it.  Baby boy sat down at his table and played with the castle for nearly an hour.  
 To set this off I first explained to him who all the characters were (the witch with the cauldron is called 'the cook' ;0) and showed him how they could be used, how they could go through the little doors and how we could make them talk and play with eachother.  He loved it!  

So now I just need to keep reminding him that playing with his castle is more exciting than watching tv (which is another area where I really need to improve).

I bought the castle from Oxfam which also helps me know it was made using fairtrade practices.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A little bit of nice

I saw this clip when I was watching tv with baby boy yesterday, it made me smile and it made me cry and it made me happy again.  It is just nice, in every sense of the word.
Lately I have realised I have no tollerance for people who aren't nice...none at all!  It is making my working life difficult, but then easy at the same time because I can see things really clearly.  Things in my personal life lately show that we are only here for such a short time, so being unkind is just a plain old waste of time.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

special spaces

I love these ideas for creating spaces for your child at home, and am trying to figure out how I could make a space like these for baby boy.  Too cute!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


This year I have been thinking about what goals I have and where I would like to improve. And with images all over the tv of so much stuff being ruined and thrown out with floods and cyclones I got to thinking about all those people who have now lost so much, and wondered what they are really missing.
So this year I want to treat my 'stuff' with respect, treating it with the value it deserves. I have started by sorting out all the clothes in my closet, hanging them properly and in order so I can always find them. When you think about it, there is a lot of money in there and I need to respect that and enjoy wearing all of those clothes. My other project has been to sort all baby boys toys, making sure no pieces are missing and that all the 'sets' are kept together. Anyone spent a morning sticking all the flaps back on the 'Spot' books?  It was really satisfying!
I hope to folllow this pattern though all the rooms of my house, and enjoy a greater appreciation for what I do have.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Got teeth?

If you read my family blog you may notice photo's of my beautiful baby boy with his amber teething necklace on (much to many of my relatives dismay ;0) I purchased it when he was about 15 months old and thought that I have now tested it out enough to give my opinion on it.
They work!
Baby boy didn't start getting teeth til he was around 12 months, and after a few nights of paracetamol and excessive drooling I thought they couldn't hurt. I had also had a recommendation from a midwife in my ABA group who uses them with all her children. Man of the house thought I was crazy...but he usually does anyway...He married me :0)

The biggest difference noticed after putting it on is the drastic reduction in dribbling and irritability. From soaking through tshirts one minute to literally dry the next, it has really been that noticable for me. If you have never seen one used, they are short and sit against the skin of the child under their clothing. The theory is supposed to be that the amber warms against the skin and releases an anti-inflammitory oil. After a few minutes baby boy doesn't even notice it is on. They are not to be chewed and should have a clasp that will release when pulled on to reduce any risk of choking. Read this warning.

So that's my opinion, I do think that medication definately plays a vital role, but if I can avoid giving it to my child (hence not reducing the effect of their growing immune system) I will.

I bought my necklace from here:http://www.thedappyshop.com.au/
If you are interested :0)

Sunday, February 6, 2011


"The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer to God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth"
~Dorothy Frances Gurney~

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Australia Day Pledge

This Australia Day I have been thinking about all the great things that Australian's produce and suppport. We are pretty lucky people and we are blessed to have so much at our disposal. So in light of the recent floods, and a greater potential for overseas products to flood our supermarket shelves I am going to make a more concise choice to buy Australian made and owned products. (I think this was spurred on by seeing some very sickly Chinese apples at Woolworths last week). I am happy to pay a little more, knowing that if we all did it it would ensure that wages and ethical trade would also increase. I read somethin recently that said that we are now in the position that we really can change the world by just choosing how we spend our money; whether that be based on fairtrade, green choices or locally made products.

My guides to help me in this pledge:

Happy Australia Day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Want to get published?

I having being waiting patiently for a package in the mail, and last week it arrived. My blog in a book!

I went to this great site a few weeks ago:


and ordered my family blog to be printed into a book. Now I have all my posts, photos and comments in beautiful book for my family to keep. I was suprised to see that I had over 72 posts covering over 3 years of our family life.

What an easy way to keep a family journal.

Monday, January 3, 2011

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