Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lemonade ice blocks...

I have been feeling quite ill all day - some form of gastro!

But then U2 suggested a lemonade ice block. Why had I not thought of that - is it my medicine of choice when the girls are (genuinely) feeling sick?!

It was amazing. It could just be a coincidence but I am off the couch!

Something so good about a lemonade ice block!

What is your feeling-sick-pick-me-up?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Why I like school...

Why I like school
by MiniMe

I like school because it is like going to the circus.
Mrs B is like the clowns because she makes us laugh.
Mr L is the ringmaster and he tells us stories.
My friends are like the acrobats.
I can get popcorn from the canteen.
But school is better that the circus because I get to go everyday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The little things..

Today was a day full of little surprises, nothing major but just some little things that make you smile.

As I was leaving school this morning one little boy waved at me and said hello. I recognised him as the older brother of a boy in MiniMe's class. I then heard him say to his teacher - that is my brother's girlfriend mother. Will be asking MiniMe a few questions when she comes home!!

I had to wait for a truck to fill up with diesel at the service station, JJ was not happy about the wait. The truck driver came back with a bottle of water for her. A kindness I rarely see from a stranger.

I went to Vinnes and they had three things that I have been wanting to get but haven't yet found 'not new'. One was a red bumpy ball which JJ loves, the other a china mug for Goofy (MiniMe has a special one for her hot milo and this one today has a cute 4 on it - perfect for the new four year old!) and lastly part of U2 father's day present.

We then went to Franklins and the lady at the till let me have two of the Sun Herald Mary Poppins CD's - one for us and one for MiniMe's teacher who has been off school for the last two weeks because of an injury. MiniMe is going to be thrilled.

I finally got to trying to fix up Mum's old leather jackets - it is coming up ok. Putting black conditioner on it cover the wear and tear.May even wear it this Saturday night to the school fundraiser.

I started reading a book with my cup of tea. I forgot how much I like reading and didn't realise how much I had missed it. Didn't realise it was a book about a mother who died of cancer and left letters to her daughters but so far so good.

Our Harvest Hub started today and it was pretty simple to distribute. I am looking forward to meeting the members this afternoon.

I got 9 bananas for $5.

I just had a mango Fruche and it was as good as I remember.

They are just little things but good things.

What are your little things today?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Made it monday .... cake pops

One of the things I like most about reading blogs is the ideas that you get from other people.

I cant remember who know but someone mentioned cake pops a couple of weeks before our birthday week so I decided to give them a try.

They do look great but they were not the quickest thing to make.

I made a cake, crumbled it, let it cool over night, mixed it with some icing and cream cheese and then rolled it into balls. Stick it on a stick, dip it in melted chocolate, get them to balance upright in the holes I had made in a egg carton and then sprinkle with 100s and 1000s.

So I am not sure I will be making them again as they were very time consuming. I did see some people used crushed Oreo's and cream cheese which eliminates the cooking step. They did look pretty though and U2's work and Goofy's preschool liked them! JJ managed to steal away with some too!

Has anyone else attempted these? Did I just do things the hard way or is there an easier way of creating these?

Friday, August 19, 2011


This isnt Goofy - all images are from

At the moment I am struggling to get Goofy to talk to other people. She hides behind me and looks away when people talk to her. We are working on one word answers to 'strangers'  questions like, how are you?(and strangers includes anyone other than me, U2 and MiniMe)

So it took some prompting to get her to look Gramps in the eye and say 'thank you' for her birthday present last night. It didn't appear she was thankful by the quick glance and mumbled words that stumbled out. But then she said grace at dinner and the words just flowed out without prompting...

'Thank you for this food. Thank you that Gramps gave me lovely presents. Amen'

Amen indeed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Worry again...

I am having a sense of deja vu. Almost a year ago exactly worrying about seeing the specialist about a breast cyst I have had for years was the topic of my post and now here I am about to write about the very same cyst and a similar worry.

Having already had the ultrasound and having the radiographer tell me it looked the same as last year I went into the oncologist yesterday thinking it was just formality. One those appointments you think they just make you go to just to make sure all the right boxes are ticked. Turns out there is a good reason to get the specialist to have a look at your scans.

After quietly peering at the scans he found the cyst has changed in shape and make up slightly. Add to this that is has been slightly painful on an off for the last few months means I now have to go and get a needle put it.

Best case it that they get all the benign gunk out and it never bothers me again. But there is always that little thought in the recesses of my mind that shouts - it could be something that bothers you a lot. There is that chance that it is something worse. And while worrying about something that has not happened and we have no control over is useless (U2 would say as useless as tits on a bull), it is hard to always ignore that little voice that likes to be quite loud.

I feel like I am going ok at managing the worry though. I have spoken to a couple of people about it to get it out of my system and am focusing on some fun things ahead - like an adults only family dinner tonight! I am looking forward to spending some time with my family without being interrupted by the children. I love it when we are all together too but this is a rare and special treat!

So while that anxious voice may like to have centre stage for the next couple of weeks I am going to attempt to keep it in check. It will have its time because sometimes being anxious about something is justified (or is it? maybe not justified but understandable). But I have learnt it does not need to be the dominant main character. A lesson that is has taken me some time to learn and today I am grateful for having learnt it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Love abounds ...

Awhile ago I wrote about having a safety net. How we all have people around us who hold a net that allows us to fall but still be supported, to not be coping but be enveloped by love. People hold our nets and we hold onto others. Relationships.

What happens when you are falling and your holders are falling too? How do you fall but still hold on for them? Tricky.

Every stage of life has its challenges. The season of life with young children leaves you with little time for anything else. They need you all day and often through the night too. Physical exhaustion.

Then when you get some quiet, when they are safety dreaming, the peace is hard to relinquish and the idea of making any interesting conversation seem unfathomable. Mental exhaustion.

Lying at bed at night you think of all your friends who are having a tough time and wish you could do more to help them but then don't know where to start or how to balance that with what has to get be done. Guilt.

Do we all just land on slightly tilted parachutes because a few people have had to let go? Do we all find ourselves in the same twisted pile? Maybe when we are all in this mess we find the understanding and support we need to help each other stand up. There is an understanding that the desire is there. Love abounds.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Made it monday.... sausage rolls with hidden goodness

Last week I was tired of fighting to the younger two girls to eat all their dinner so I decided to roll all of dinner into one and see what happened.

Our Harvest Hub sends out recipes each week and this one was great. Sausage rolls packed with vegetables! U2 and I liked them too.

It says that you cant taste the sweet chilli sauce but Goofy did complain about it being a bit spicy at one point so next time I might leave that out but other than that it was a winner.

Any other recipes with hidden goodness out there?

So here is the recipe....

3.Fiona’s Sausage rolls
4 sheets of frozen puff pastry defrost while making mixture below
• 500g sausage roll mince from butcher 1 onion finely chopped 1 grated carrot 1 grated zucchini same amount of grated pumpkin 1 stalk finely chopped celery 1/2 bunch of spinach finely chopped, (you can use ½ box of frozen spinach 250g drain well) 1 cup bread crumbs 2 eggs 3 tbsp tomato paste 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce -don't worry there is no chilli taste at all for young children Milk (for brushing)

Preheat oven to 200C.
Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix with your hands until mixture seems even. Cut puff pastry
in half so you have 8 sheets to work with. Lay the mixed ingredients along the middle of pastry then
press together both long side edges, leave ends open. Lay seam facing downwards on baking tray lined
with baking paper (or greased with oil). Brush tops of sausage rolls with a little milk when ready to bake.
Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is brown.
You can freeze any extra sausage rolls you are not ready to cook straight away until needed
for another night.
Fiona serves this to her daughter who is 2½ with a side salad with or without tomato sauce.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Do you know what I am enjoying right now?

White Tea.

A sweet and subtle flavour from the Fujian mountains.

It has taken me awhile to cotton on to tea. I still cant palate coffee (the smell I like, the taste not so much) and I dont like black tea. But herbal tea I have grown to really enjoy. I look forward to it, desire it.

I am an avid Rooibos (red tea) drinker after my aunt visited from South Africa and got us all onto it.

I enjoy wondering around T2 and trying the different samples. I love that they give you a sachet to take home so you can try it before you commit to a whole bag.

I had this great tea cup that was lovely thin glass and it had an insert that you brewed your loose-leaf tea in then took it out. It got dropped, smashed, I replaced it, the new one got pushed off the bench. Then I couldnt buy anything new. The anticipation of a new one next year is exciting.

This cup of tea is finished, so I must start the school pick up.

What tea are you drinking at the moment?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Malignant keloid....

I went to see the dermatologist today and she decided I was worth some show and tell. So she called in the nurse so she could show her this interesting case - me! 

I have always know my scar is not the smallest around but when she was describing my malignant keloid as one of the worst cases you would see I must admit it made me feel a little better. I am not being a complete woose when I complain about it being sore, itchy and ultra sensitive.  

I haven't really had a good look at it in awhile and so taking a photo of it and actually looking at it was actually a bit of a surprise and this is it looking better than it did 2 months ago!

I have just started getting regular steroid injections into the scar in the hope that it will flatten and be less symptomatic. So far it has been great. I started rubbing it yesterday and realised that I had been doing that for the last few weeks which is a very pleasant change. She doubled the strength today so it will be interesting to see what happens.

I dont think it really is one of the worst cases, I am sure there are people who have been in car accidents etc who have worse but for today I will take the sympathy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Buy nothing new for a year...

Sometimes we commit to something and then wonder what on earth we were thinking, why are we making life harder for ourselves!? Our decision to buy nothing new for a year has left me feeling the complete opposite. As I have mentioned before we are trying to buy nothing new for a whole year. The aim was to save money, reuse, recycle and also there was the curiosity of what life would be like.

So what has life been like?

I don't spend time at the shops. I go up to the local grocery store for our food but I very rarely venture to the larger local Westfield, expect if I am going to Medicare etc. I also spend less time at the shops as I am not going back to return my impulse buys before the exchange time runs out! It was amazing the things I would buy with the intention to decide on them later because I could always bring them back. I have learnt that if I cant decide then and there then I really don't like/need it.

When I am at the shops I just get the things done I went to do. No browsing and picking up little goodies or things on sale that are so cheap I cant not get them! So we are definitely saving money.

I have discovered op-shops and all the great treasures that there are. It satisfies the part of me that does like shopping but I have learnt that just because it is cheap, doesn't mean I need to buy it. I refrained from a pair of roller blades for MiniMe today!

There have been a couple of slips ups but I thought about them and decided that they were worthy exceptions. The main one has been Goofy's birthday. MiniMe and JJ both had birthday just as we started no buying anything new so I had already purchased their presents. We felt that buying some presents for Goofy was only fair. Interestingly when I did go to buy hers I bought only a few things, relatively quickly and was happy with each purchase. Not my usual shopping experience. We have also decided our trip to SA at the end of the year will be a break as we are unlikely to return there again.

So I think my attitude to shopping has changed. I think I will always enjoy the occasional walk around the shops but the temptation to want everything I see has definitely waned. The shops have lost a little of their shine. I have also enjoyed thinking a bit outside the box and being a bit more crafty as a result.
I have been enjoying the challenge of not buying anything new and think it has been a very worthwhile experiment for me to learn about how and why I shop. I don't feel like I am missing out on anything. My buying patterns will definitely be changed when the year is up and in a positive way. So I am very grateful to my friend who put me onto this challenge in the first place. Thanks, MM!

How do you think you would go if you stopped buying new things for a year?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Taking it slow....

Today I decided would be a home day. I have on my ugg boots, old tracky pants and Mum's fleece top (this outfit may need to change for preschool pick up). The radio is going and I am tidying. It is good.

Life has been hectic of late. So many places to be and things to make happen. All good stuff but just a lot of good stuff. I needed a slow day or I felt like I would combust into a pile of dust and really there is enough things to be cleaning up around here so I don't need to add to it!

I have realised this morning the importance of slowing down and sometimes saying no to activities, even if good. I was booked in to go to pilates at lunch time, my last session in a package. MIL was kindly going to have JJ so I could go. I have been the past few Tuesdays and while great it takes up the whole afternoon till pick up time and I miss one of my two quiet times I get in the week when JJ is alseep and no other children are home.

Today the quiet is more important. I woke up feeling heavy from the to do list in my head and the people I need/want to look after. I feel a fraction lighter from have some space to think and feel calmer for having a little bit of order around me.  

Now I think it is time to put my feet up and enjoy some mushroom and avocado on toast ....

Monday, August 8, 2011

Made it monday ... birthday cake

Goofy spent hours paging through the cake book and came up with the cake for her birthday.

It is basically mars bar slice made pushed into a cake mould. She doesn't really eat cake, just icing, so I thought this was the perfect cake for her.

I am not sure I will make it again. The rice bubbles went a bit soft and chewy and it didn't quite have enough mars bar mixture holding it together. But the idea is great and I am sure with a bit of tweaking it would be great.

It also doesn't look that great when it comes back up! I look at the photo and the image of milky brown rice bubble vomit nestles in my mind. Why you ask?

Goofy had a gymnastics party and at the end the birthday girl got to go on a big disc and be swung and spun around. Then straight upstairs for party food! As we then headed downstairs to say goodbye to everyone Goofy began to vomit, on the expensive gym mat, on my pants, my hair ..... She then went home and had pizza for dinner and custard for dessert!

A memorable birthday.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Made it monday ... boy stuff..

For a change I have been working on some boy projects!

It has taken me awhile but I wanted to make something for my brother's two boys.

I decided to make the 2 and a half year old a pillow case and some PJ's to go with this new big bed!

The baby is just learning to sit so I went for something to cushion his fall. (I know, more cushions but this should be the last!)