Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 what a year!!

2012 was life changing in so many ways. 

The biggest change for us was going from this (although sadly) in May

to this

from knockdown to rebuild in 4 months. 

We went to Fiji.  It could not have been a more perfect holiday.

Birthday breakie of vegemite toast!!
This little angel turned 1.  Not the best photo I have others on my computer which isn't plugged in!!

This big one started preschool in February and turned 3 in March

We very sadly said goodbye to this gorgeous girl in July. 

2012 will be remembered by us as "year of the house".  We spent our weekends choosing brick, paint, tile colours.  Not as easy or as fun as it sounds!!  We really spent 12 months focused solely on our house.  We did not do much other than focus on the house and I am glad we did.  In fact many years were spent focusing on the house.  It was a long drawn out process.

2013 will be different.  The house is done and complete.  It is so low maintenance we won't need to spend full weekends on it like the old place.  Which leaves us with whole weekends free.  We have resolved to do more fun stuff with the kids like trips to the zoo etc.  Made easier by the fact the are older and able to do much more.  We have also decided to do more of what we like.  For me that will be reading more and for the HOTH it will be starting work on his car thats been sitting in the shed for 3 and a half years!! 

I can't say I am hanging for 2012 to be over.  It has not been a bad year and so much changed for us that 2013 will be a continuation not a whole new start. 

So all thats left to say is HAPPY NEW YEAR and thank you to anyone who has read this blog, commented, chatted with me on twitter and facebook.  Your interactions mean a lot to me.  So bring on 2013!!

I was tagged by Jacana to list my 12 things in 2012 and now have to tag 12 people however most people have already done this.  Trust me to leave it to the last minute!!  If you have not yet reflected on 2012 do it!! 

Linking up for the last open slather with One Mother Hen.

Friday, 28 December 2012

FFS Friday- Christmas 2012 the wrap up.

I have to confess its been fairly uneventful here.  We are in full holiday mode however I am still able to whip up a FFS Friday post!!!

Christmas eve was stinking hot here.  FFS

I am totally in awe of just how good I am for being all organised for Christmas.  All I had to do Christmas eve was do some groceries and wrap pressies.  Yes I am that good.  FFS

Christmas day I woke up at 5am, got up looked outside and thought the Mayans were right and the world had ended.  FFS

No power and fog.  It looked like the apocalypse.  FFS

Power came back on at 6am.  Making every appliance we own beep and carry on waking both boys up.  FFS

2 excited boys at 6am, 10 minutes later the fighting started.  FFS

All before I had a chance to put the kettle on.  FFS

I then had to referee until the HOTH woke up at 7.  FFS

We all got lovely presents and had a good morning playing with new things and a casual breakfast.  The HOTH was adamant we have a small breakfast as lunch was at 1pm.  FFS

Lunch turned out to be at 330pm.  FFS

After lunch and the washing up and presents it was time for dessert.  No sooner had I shovelled in the last mouthful of pav it was time for us to head off to our second stop of the day.  FFS

I walked in all excited as Granny's world famous Christmas pud was sitting on the table. Turns out this side of the family had not eaten dinner yet and I was forced to eat more food if I wanted a piece of pud.  FFS

I rolled out of there in some kind of food haze.  FFS

The only other thing about Christmas day was the weather.  Wettest Christmas day for 70 years.  FFS 

The day had it all, wind, rain, thunder and lightning.  FFS

A far cry from Christmas eve.  FFS

Plus it was cold meaning my outfit choice had to be changed.  FFS

It also meant the new bike from Santa sat in the lounge room for 2 days.  FFS

Other things that have made me say FFS this week include-
  • breaking 3 plates getting the ham in and out of the fridge.  Lucky they are cheapies from kmart.
  • a 3 year old who had an ear ache and temps on boxing day,
  • a nearly (in a week) 2 year old who has decided to start the terrible twos including a few choice tantrums and the old I am not going to bed until 10pm.
Happy New Year guys and let us not speak of Christmas again until December next year.  FFS

Linking up with Dear Baby G for the last whinge of 2012!!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Wordless Wednesday- So that was Christmas 2012

We said goodbye to Ernie/Bernie the elf.  I am so glad I jumped on the elf on a shelf bandwagon!!  The kids loved him.  Before he left he took a couple of cheeky photos!!

By Christmas Eve I was over fixing up the tree!!
Santa delivered!!  Thank you Santa!!

Fireman dressups and a remote control fire engine!!

I hope Christmas 2012 was a good one for you all.  Next year I hope to remember the camera for more Christmas pictures!!

Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for a boxing day Wordless Wednesday!!

Monday, 24 December 2012

T'was the night before Christmas....

Here we are again Christmas Eve!!  I swear the years fly by and it was only Christmas a few months ago. 

I just have all the wrapping to do plus the groceries as the shops are shut for 2 days and the world here would end if we do not have peanut butter or toilet paper!!  I am stoked to say that all the big one wants for Christmas is a blue bike and a new fire truck which is just what he is getting.  Except the bike is actually a Lightning McQueen one!!  I love getting the perfect gift for someone knowing they will love it!!  I know the baby will love his new tipper truck!!  I am also fairly sure the HOTH will love his presents even though we were not supposed to be buying each other presents!!

We have had some fun with Ernie/Bernie our Elf on a shelf although he has not been very creative about where he is each morning!!  There are limited places he can go out of temptation from little hands!!   The fridge has been loaded with "tinnies"ready to leave for Santa and a few carrots for the reindeer!!  Ernie/Bernie is all ready to head back with Santa tonight.

I am forever grateful to live in my small town.  The community spirit is alive and well here.  The local firies every year load up the fire truck with Santa and bags of lollies and cover the whole town so no child misses out on a quick wave from Santa and a little treat!!  Saturday just gone was the day this year and for a small child who loves firetrucks there is no bigger thrill!!

So the countdown is on!!  This time tomorrow I will have 2 very excited little boys and I cannot wait!!  For me thats what Christmas is all about!!

So Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!!

Oh and I cannot resist sharing this song I heard last week!!  It is so funny and the film clip is just as good!!  Although slightly cheeky!!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Bloggers Boogey- More Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!

FFS Friday-what the kids and dogs did now and Merry Christmas!!

The HOTH asked me what I was going to write about on Friday as this week had been good, he wasn't here for most of it.  FFS

Basically this week has been spent cleaning up after kids and dogs.  FFS

Over the weekend the baby found a new hobby of putting stuff in the toilet.  FFS

So far I have fished out a $1 coin, a fire truck and a brand new toothbrush.  FFS

Monday was particularly shocking with 1 bloody nose, a whole bottle of baby wash poured down the shower, a broken glass and 2 cups of spilt juice/water.  FFS

Monday also saw us come home from swimming to find the baby had left his beloved toy Ra ra outside and a dog had chewed one of his ears off.  FFS

I had been meaning for ages to call the toy company and find a spare one.  FFS

Calls and emails placed and no one in the company has seen the toy before.  Chances of getting a replacement are slim to none.  FFS  (hats off the the toy company they were more than helpful)

Tuesday saw me struck down with the flu.  FFS

Wednesday I had to suck it up and go and buy some food as the HOTH was coming home a day early and I am not sure he wants 2 minute noodles for dinner.  FFS

I am using sickness as an excuse for not shutting the back door, like I do religiously every time we leave the house.  We came home to scenes of mass destruction.  FFS

The dogs had taken a couple of presents from under the tree and spread their contents over the yard.  FFS

They had also taken rubbish out of the bin.  FFS

The baby, poor little thing also developed temps.  FFS

We have a history of illness at this time of year.  The week before Christmas last year saw me and the baby take a little trip t the hospital late one night.  I knew deep down he was ok but also knew if I didn't take him I would have been wrong.  FFS

The staff were great and we were in and out in 3 hours however the triage nurse said to me whatever you do don't get sick over Christmas as they were reducing staff numbers as part of cost cutting.  FFS

Thursday saw me remember to shut the backdoor but forget to shut the laundry door.  FFS

I love picking up chewed dirty nappies from the back yard when it is stinking hot.  FFS

The HOTH in an attempt to be nominated for father of the year brought home a toy truck and fire truck  for the boys yesterday afternoon.  Wow what a great guy you must be thinking.  FFS

Even he admitted about an hour later it was the worst mistake ever.  FFS

The fighting and whinging over who had what truck went on for about 4 hours and even continued when I put them to bed and restarted at 620am and has not let up.  FFS

Which explains why this FFS Friday has not been finished until now.  FFS

I am still doing battle with Telstra, turns out I need a new modem.  FFS

I got them to credit me back some money but I will be gunning for a whole lot more now.  FFS

Anyway Merry Christmas FFS Fridayers,  May your Christmas not give you too much to say FFS about!!

Linking up with the ever awesome Dear Baby G

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Readers Choice- Liebster x3

Each person must post 11 facts about themselves 
Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you 
Choose 11 people and link them to your post (they must have 200 followers or less) 
Provide 11 questions for the people you tag 
Tell the people you have nominated

A long time ago  I was awarded a Liebster from the fabulous One Mother Hen and being the slack ass I am have left it until the end of December to do!!  Here are her 11 questions for me-

  1. What nationalities are in your ancestry? British and french
  2. Favourite Australian actor/actress? Hugh!!
  3. Which magazine to you read the most? Who as it used to be good and I treated myself to a subscription now its just tripe!!
  4. What was your first job and how old were you? Babysitting and I was 14
  5. Electric blanket or hot water bottle? Hot water bottle.  I refuse to sleep on electricity!!
  6. Favourite joke or party trick? I do a good chicken impression!!
  7. Right now, what's on the top shelf of your fridge? Beer, eggs, yoghurt, cheese and a tomato
  8. What colour is predominant in your wardrobe? Blue
  9. First car you owned and what are you driving now? First car was a Mitsubishi Lancer station wagon and right now I am driving a good old white camry wagon. 
  10. Where was the best holiday you've had? Castaway Island, Fiji
  11. Who has been the biggest influence in your life? Hmmmmm I guess the HOTH and the kids.
Great questions!!  I really am too boring and do not have 11 facts about myself!!

Then I was awarded a Liebster by Four Little Piglets who is one crafty mumma and here are her questions for me!!

So what is a Liebster Award? The award is given to support and recognise up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers (on their blog) or likers (on their Facebook page). The word “Liebster” apparently has German origins and is reported to mean sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. By following some basic rules (answer 11 questions set by your nominee, write 11 questions of your own and pass the award onto 11 other bloggers to answer) it enables readers to get to know new bloggers and connect with a wider audience.

  1. Would you rather watch TV or play on the computer? Depends on the time of day and whats actually on tv worth watching!!
  2. Are you a routine kind of person, or a what ever goes person? Whatever goes!!
  3. Do you sleep with the window open or shut? Open in summer!!
  4. PC or MAC? PC
  5. What is the last movie you watched? Santa Paws
  6. What book are you reading at the moment? Nothing just YET!! We have been reading The Aussie Night Before Christmas.
  7. Are you a dog or a cat person? Both, can't pick there!!
  8. Do you prefer to ring someone or send a TXT? Text!!
  9. Approximately how many hours sleep a night do you get? Not enough!!
  10. Camping or Hotels? Hotel-although I am prepared to take the kids camping when they get older as long as I get a powered en suite site!!
  11. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Castaway Island, Fiji
Then just yesterday Declutterbug versus Captain Stingypants who is just unreal awarded me for a third time.  I am one lucky girl!!  Here are her questions for me!!

1. How has blogging affected you?
I love it.  Blogging has opened me up to a whole new world!!  It has only been positive!!
2. What do you do when you get some 'me time'?
Jump on the computer, head out and do the groceries or do the housework!!
3. Do you share your blog with family and close friends?
Some of my friends have found me but I have not actually told anyone except the HOTH!!
4. How often do you check your blog stats?
I am so not techno minded that I only just figured out how to add google analytics!!  Stats don't bother me I am not a numbers person.  I need a calculator for simple maths!!
5. What inspires you to write?
Hmmmmmmm not sure!!  Most of the time I just sit and write!!
6. How do you relax in the evening?
A long shower, some crap tv and sometimes a little chocolate!!
7. Do you sleep with your smartphone?
No as I do not own a smart phone!!  I do have my phone next to me as an alarm!!
8. Name a person you admire
I admire so many people for so many things but right now the person I think is the smartest, best person is Kurt Sutter creator of Sons Of Anarchy.  The man is a genius no question!!
9. Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon!!
10. Your dream holiday is...?
Castaway Island, Fiji
11. In five years time you hope to be....?
Working a couple of days a week in school hours and school terms or having won lotto and kicking back!!

Now my 11 questions-
  1. Do you have any reoccurring dreams?  If yes care to share?
  2. Turkey.  Yes or No.
  3. What is your favourite type of music?
  4. Any tips for insomnia?
  5. We are out for dinner and drinks and you order.....?
  6. Do you have a must watch tv show, old or new?
  7. Sports.  Do you play?
  8. Whats a quote or sayinng you use all the time?
  9. Do you wear perfume?  If yes what is your favourite?
  10. Favourite household appliance?
  11. Should Budgie Smugglers be banned?
Now my eleven.  I am handballing this back to
One Mother Hen, Four Little Piglets and Declutterbug versus Captain Stingypants
and I am also passing it on to
This Charming Mum
Three Quaters Full
You learn something new everyday
Mummy hearts Money
Danya Banya
Have a laugh on me

Now as a disclaimer I had this all ready to go and then bloody Musings of the Misguided went and awarded me with another one and stole most of my recipients!!  So I have changed my list and in the process found some new fab blogs to read!!  Also if you are good at counting you will see only 10 names on my list, that is because I want you to nominate one!! 

Linking this up with Tegan for the last Readers Choice Thursday of the year.  Thanks Tegan I will get onto your one for me next year!!

Oh and a shout out to Handmade Tears and Triumphs who also honoured me yesterday!!  I am go grateful to you guys.  You have really put a smile on my face!!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Wordless Wednesday- Crafting with kids or why I will never be the next Martha!!

 Picture these little pot pourri and sparkle bags with some ribbon tied around the top.  Our little teachers gifts.

Foam trees, painted with glue then dipped into a paper bag with glitter.

Now the out takes or aftermath of letting a nearly 2 year old loose with bags of glitter and glue!!

Merry Christmas guys!!  I realised I had not actually put up our Santa photo!!

Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Happy New Year 2013

Yep I am starting the new year early. 

This little family just needs to get through the next 7 days and then its r&r time around here.  We need a few days of sleep, beach time and do nothing time!!  Judging by the long range weather forecast we may only get one day of sun which suits me just fine!! 

I sound like a grinch but seriously I am over Christmas now.  I think the fact there was Christmas stuff in the shops since July and the fact the shops started selling "back to school" stuff in October combined with the reality Easter stuff will be in the shops on the 27th of December plus the pissing competitions over who is getting their child the latest and greatest most expensive toy that has completely turned me off being festive.  Don't get me wrong I am so excited to see the kids on Christmas morning knowing I/Santa have got them some stuff they will love and that this year they are really into the whole magic of Santa but if it wasn't for the kids I would cancel Christmas.

It has been overall a great year around here.  Not all good, nice things though.  In fact some real crap unfair things have happened.  But for our little family life is pretty good. 

I am not one for new years resolutions but I have a couple of things I would like to be able to make happen in the new year,

The first is to be more assertive.  I am going to start to put my foot down more, stop trying to please everyone all the time, say no to some things I would have said yes to and yes to things I would have said no to.  The only people I need to make happy 100% of the time is the 4 of us in our family.

The second thing is one which has me excited. 

Little White Dove

I read a grand total of one book in 2012.  That figure makes me sad, very sad.  I love love love my books.  I used to jump up and down with excitement and rush to the shops when a new release from one of my favourite authors came out.  The last nearly 4 years I have been fostering the kids love of reading and love it they do.  I am proud of that.  I hope they can continue to keep the reading spark alive as they get older. 

So when I saw this challenge I knew it was exactly the kick start I need.  I am going to read 13 books in 2013 and to up the ante I am going to make them 13 books I have never read before.  We have just discovered the joys of our local library and I am going to have a poke around there and see what I can come up with, plus if I get a library book with a time limit that will force me to read it (hopefully) thats the plan anyway!!  You don't need to be a blogger to play along either.  Pop over and check out Little White Dove for more details.

Happy New Year to you all!!

Monday, 17 December 2012

2 simple salads.

I loved One Mother Hen's easy looking Watermelon salad from last week so I have decided to share 2 of my favourite easy salad recipes.

First up Mango and Bacon Salad. This was made by a mum at my mums group who stole it off someone else!!  It is so yummy and easy.

1 bag baby spinach
1 mango
some bacon- for us I use 6 pieces of shortcut bacon
4-5 spring onions

Fry or bbq bacon- I like mine extra crispy!!  I divide the baby spinach onto separate plates, cut all the flesh off the mango (try and cut mango over the plates so the juice goes over the spinach like a dressing.  Cut up cooked bacon and spring onions and mix with the salad. 

This has not got a dressing as such just the juice of the mango but works really well with sweet chili sauce. 
See easy!!

Changs Noodle Salad

  • ½ -1 Chinese Cabbage, or ¼ savoy cabbage (shredded finely)
  • 6 Green Onion (chopped 5mm length)
  • 100g Lightly roasted slivered Almonds or Pinenuts
  • 1 pkt Chang’s Fried Noodles 100g (Original or Onion Flavoured)
  • ¼ cup White Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Castor Sugar
  • 1 tblsp Chang’s Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Chang’s sesame oil (Optional)
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
Mix all the ingredients of the Dressing in a bowl. Stir well until sugar is dissolved. Combine the Cabbage, chopped Green Onions and almonds in a salad bowl. Add dressing and mix well. Just before serving add the noodles and toss thoroughly.

You can buy the dressing premade which I now do as we eat this salad at least twice a week!!  Mine looks nothing like the picture as I am hopeless at shredding the cabbage!!  I also make this with baby spinach or the pre chopped bags of stir fry vegies if I can't get a small enough cabbage.  It is a good one to take as a "take a plate" as you can prepare all the salad ingredients and just add the dressing when you are about to serve it.

Linking up for some open slather with the fab One Mother Hen

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Friday, 14 December 2012

The Sunshine Award.

The Sunshine Award awarded to me by the fabulous Mumabulous and the very awesome RoboMum

The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: “Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogsphere”. The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favourite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!

Wow thanks Mumabulous and Robomum!!

I am absolutely in love with blogging.  The writing and the reading.  I have loved every minute of my journey so far.  It really has become a hobby I enjoy.  I love sitting down when the house is quiet and churning out a post whether it be a whinge or a recipe or photos.  Its become a way to capture family memories and also improve my communication skills and keep my brain active!!  I love reading about other peoples experiences and opinions, some are completely different to my own and I love seeing situations from other points of view.

Now the fun part, answering of the questions.

1. Favourite Time of the Year?

Spring and autumn and winter!!  I love the temperatures of spring and autumn and I love winter when I do not have to leave the house and also the winter comfort food!!

2. Favourite Festive movie?

It is not Christmas without seeing National Lampoons Christmas Vacation!!

3. What is your Passion?

Hmmm good question.  At the moment I would have to say my passion is my boys first and foremost.  Followed by music and reading. 

4. Favourite Colour?

Most shades of blue!!  The colour of the sky on a clear day is one of my faves!!

5. Favourite time of the Day?

The moment as I get into bed at night and am just about to fall asleep.

6. Favourite Flower?

Gerberas, frangipani, gardenia, roses, lavender, hibiscus...........

7. Favourite Non-Alcoholic Beverage?

Depending on the time of day or temperature I like hot chocolate, tea, diet lemonade, cordial.  However the one main favourite is my first cup of coffee in the morning. 

8. Favourite Physical Activity?

I don't mind the odd walk but swimming is the thing for me.  I used to do aqua aerobics years ago and found that awesome exercise.  No I did not wear a frilly cossie or a bathing cap!!

9. Favourite Vacation?

Castaway Island Fiji.  That was easy!!

Now I get to choose 10 bloggers and in no particular order they are- drumroll please!!!

Mums Take Five
Mrs D's Maunderings
Declutterbug versus Captain Stingypants
My Ranty Pants
Little White Dove
Four Little Piglets
Make Me Up Mandy

Here is where I am stuck as not only did I receive this award not once but twice but all the fabulous people I had ready to bestow an award on have already been honoured.  So I am short one and I would love for you guys to nominate one on my behalf. 

Thanks again Mumabulous and RoboMum you guys have made my week!!

FFS Friday- Wardrobe malfunctions and other tales.

Last Saturday was the HOTH's work party, a Sydney harbour cruise.  I glammed myself up.  By that I mean I wore a dress and put some lipstick on.  Note to self- check the weather before leaving the house.  FFS

It was incredibly windy meaning I had to stand in a sheltered spot and hold my dress down to stop it from blowing up over my head.  FFS

I should have known better and worn pants.  FFS

The dress also requires the wearing of a strapless bra meaning my 4 year old maternity ones would not cut it and I needed a new one.  No probs, I got one, all good.  Until the end of the night when it was digging into me so much it left red marks.  FFS

There is a common theme of me and nice clothes and some kind of problem.  Its why I wear shorts, tshirts and thongs everywhere.  FFS

Example 1- We went out earlier in the year to look for house stuff.  It was a hot day and I took the opportunity of leaving the house to wear a nice maxi dress.  We were parked at a super centre thing and had walked a long way from the car when the heavens opened and it pissed down rain.  Not just a little shower but dead set a torrential down pour.  My dress was a little too long and dragged through the water as we ran for the car.  By the time we made it to the car I looked like a drowned rat.  That was our cue to head home, not before the HOTH made me go in and pay for the petrol looking like I had had a shower with my clothes on.  FFS

Example 2- When we went on our city adventure with the kids I again dressed up in a dress and my cute sandals.  I discovered my sandals are not made for walking they just look good.  I had to stop and buy a pair of havis to get home in.  FFS

Another wardrobe malfunction I witnessed which could possibly be some kind of fashion crime or just a complete HELL NO was a girl in a bar in a caftan wearing no underwear.  After the cruise we headed to a trendy city bar.  You know the type, the funky furniture, the weird lighting and the drinks with prices you need to ask twice what the bar tender said as surely $9 for a beer is simply wrong.  Anyway we were all set up at our tables which were near the toilets and a girl walks past and in the wrong light it was clearly apparent that she had no underwear on underneath her flimsy caftan.  FFS

Now a public apology to the HOTH for not pointing this out to him when I saw it.  FFS

We never got home until 230am and Sunday was called early as the day of rest/do nothing.  The baby thwarted these plans by spilling a whole cup of juice, breaking a plate and smashing an empty glass.  All pretty much after I had finished cleaning up from the last spilt/smashed thing.  FFS

Sunday was a long day.  FFS

My kids are smart and convinced our babysitter to open the barrel of play doh I had stashed in the shed.  There is still play doh everywhere.  FFS

That right there is the reason I had it stashed.  FFS

Tuesday saw a certain 3 year old having an absolute meltdown.  I put it down to the fact he ate so much sugar and crap at our playgroup party but now I am thinking hormones??  FFS

I am still waging a war with Telstra.  Wednesday night they call me at nearly 7pm and say my broadband should be good to go.  An hour later and it wasn't.  I get told they will phone back at 12pm Thursday.  I get a call at 6pm which clearly is the new 12pm and I said I could not talk now as I was on my way out the door.  Who calls people with kids between 5pm and bedtime.  Apparently they will be calling today.  FFS

Lastly craziest most extravagant Christmas present for a child/children I have seen so far this year- A $999 cubby house.  FFS

Linking up with Dear Baby G for FFS Friday.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Readers Choice- My Christmas Menu or my dream Christmas day

I do not remember a Christmas where there was not some kind of controversy.  Growing up Christmas was always at our place.  Mum would always cook a massive hot lunch which was fine as we lived in England and various family members would come over depending on who was around etc.  Then we moved here and mum still continues to cook a hot lunch even though it is summer which honestly drives me nuts.  More of my opinions on the topic of Christmas and the cooking of a lunch can be found here!!

 Christmas got a lot quieter as we do not have much family here.  Then I met the HOTH and the joys of dividing Christmas began.  Plus I worked Christmas morning for a lot of years as well so the last 10 odd years have become a living nightmare.  One year we made 4 stops and every year seem to spend half the day in the car. 

Then the kids came along and everyone has to see the kids and we made the decision to only see one side of the family on Christmas day and then swap the next year which worked well in theory but in practise was not a viable option.  The guilt factor from both sides is enough to do my head in.  So for many years I have dreamt of a Christmas day just for us and here it is.
  • Wake up around 7am ish.  Open pressies.  Let kids play with the pressies.
  • Walk down the road and get some fresh bread rolls, come back and have ham and egg rolls.
  • More playing with pressies.  Maybe a quick trip to the park if there are bikes, scooters or footballs involved.
  • Head down to the beach with an esky of food for a few hours of fun.
  • Come home and Nana naps for all
  • Wake up feeling fabulous
  • Between 4pm and 6pm have visitors.  Fire up the bbq, make a couple of easy salads and kick back with a few cold bevvies.
  • All visitors to be gone by 7pm, kids to bed not long after, more quiet cold bevvies reflecting on how great our day was.
The last few years the reality has been the exact opposite.  We spend Christmas day rushing around like blue assed flies and this year is going to be absolutely no different.  I have come to terms with the fact Christmas is what it is but it still irritates the hell out of me.  Add in potentially having Christmas interstate next year with my family and all the logistics that entails and its no wonder I become a cranky grinch at this time of year!!

Back to the topic of the menu my dream would be something like this
  • Ham and egg rolls for breakie
  • Ham and salad rolls for lunch
  • Bbq something maybe prawns, snags and homemade chicken kebabs
  • One Mother Hen's watermelon salad, my mango and bacon salad and a noodle salad. (recipes for these will be up on Monday)!!
  • Christmas pudding.  I will try my hand at making one one year!!
  • Chocolate truffles
  • Key Lime Pie depending on how much time is available the day before to prepare stuff!!
I would love to know what other people do for Christmas and whats on your menu.  If you are a blogger you can link up with Musings of the Misguided and share your menu that way or feel free to comment with whats on your table this year!!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Wordless Wednesday- I grabbed the camera and this is what I got 12/12/12

Bubba cat

 This hibiscus is a battler.  It has survived being dug up by the dogs after we planted it.  We used blood and bone and they love to eat it by the bag!!  Also years of neglect, holes being dug around it for plumbing and not long ago the HOTH sprayed weed killer at the base of it. Still it keeps flowering pretty much all year. 

Chili when we got him 13/10/12

2 months on and some serious amounts of child "care" including digging the dirt around it, being used as a seat by the baby and some serious over watering.  Ta Da!!

Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Online grocery shopping is my new thing.

Following up from last week which was my giant list.  Hmmm I got a fair amount done although nowhere near finished!!  Some of it was a little out of my control like the wireless modem (nice work telstra) and the craft (it has been too windy to set up glitter etc outside!!) but I am pretty stoked with most of what got done!!  Thanks to everyone for the comments and suggestions on the "grandpa" present. 

One thing that came out of the list was my discovery of online grocery shopping.  I know its been around for years and I have checked out websites from time to time but last week out of a little desperation I gave it a go.  I am now a convert but after using it once I have worked out some of the pros and cons.

  • The website was hard to navigate as there was way too much to choose from.
  • I especially found the specials section annoying.
  • The 3 hour delivery window only suits me a few days a week if I want cheap delivery.
  • I would not buy fruit and veg, bread and meat online (I am fussy!!) so its not a one stop shop
  • I may never have to leave my town again which may see me turn into a recluse.
  • I quite often buy marked down stuff but this cannot happen online.
  • Sometimes I like to read ingredients which can be hard to do if you do not have the product sitting in front of you.
  • Knowing the correct names and spelling of stuff so the computer can find it. 
  • I really had to pay attention to prices to make sure I was getting a good deal.  Eg I needed a carton of soft drink and found 24 cans + 6 free was the same price as 24 (duh) but that was not marked as a special and if I had not been looking really hard I would have missed it.
  • The delivery driver nearly drove off with a carton of beer.  Lucky it was a big item and I could instantly tell it was missing.  If you are getting a lot of stuff it  can take a while to do an inventory of whats there and if something is missing I can only imagine what a nightmare that would be to deal with the shop.
  • No longer will I have to lug huge bags of dog food or cartons of drink.
  • I can buy cheap booze from the comfort of my dining room table.  We live in a small town and the 2 bottlos we have charge whatever they like!!
  • I will not have to do battle with the crazy Christmas crowds.  The shops will be shut for 2 days in a row it is not the end of the world people.
  • Although the delivery is pricey if I factor in my time, petrol and stuff for the kids to keep them happy it probably works out cheaper.
  • I can still buy all the stuff I won't buy online at my local supermarket so there is no pressure to have to do it all in one go.
  • Finding sizes of stuff I never knew existed like a giant tub of nappy rash cream.
  • Finding cat food on special.  Cat food is never on sale anymore.
I am aiming to do an online shop once a fortnight which means being organised and having a rough idea of a meal plan.  I think this would be the only way to do it rather than browse through every single section.  Hopefully next time will be slightly easier than the first go.  It seems like I have more cons than pros but in my case the pros are out weighing the cons!!  For me just getting the big bulky items delivered is a win!!

If you have any foolproof tips on online grocery shopping I would love to know them!!

Its Tuesday which is IBOT with Essentially Jess!!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Whats for dinner- Vol au vents

Not one I cooked!!  But you get the picture!!

I used to make these all the time and out of sheer desperation and lack of imagination and inspiration made them again the last couple of weeks in a row.  Not only because they are easy and the kids ate them but because meat is so bloody expensive and mince and chicken are on our menu at least once or twice a week and it is hard to come up with ways to make it interesting and different.  I love our local butchers but simply cannot afford to buy meat from them everyday.  I save the butcher meat for the weekend when we can bbq!!

I used 500g mince, grated onion, carrot and zucchini, garlic and a jar of bolognaise sauce.  Fry meat and veg until mince is browned add sauce, put into vol au vent cases (1 pack 4 big ones and 1 pack 6 medium) sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in the oven until cheese is melted.  Dinner done and eaten by every single family member, Happy Days!!

The week before same again except when it came time to cook I realised I had no bolognaise sauce, no chance I was going back to the supermarket and I didn't feel like "savoury mince" so I scoured the cupboards and came up with a jar of salsa and tin of baked beans.  Hello mexican vol au vents for the adults and plain meat and baked beans for the kids.  After the mince (plus the grated vegies!!  I always grate vegies into my mince dishes!!) was cooked I added the tin of beans and spooned some out for the kids and added a squirt of tomato sauce, then in ours just added the jar of salsa.  Same again put in cases sprinkle with cheese, in the oven, dinner done.

The vol au vents are a lighter alternative for dinner in summer and served with a salad make an easy dinner!!  As the HOTH takes leftovers everyday these also travel fairly well in their own container.

The only downside is the price, about $4 a packet, but I do see them on special sometimes.

Now the fun part.  You can basically put anything in them and not all recipes need cooking!!  When I was googling some images I cam across hundreds of recipes but here are some I have tried or want too
  • Pizza sauce, ham and pineapple.  Mix it all together in a bowl, spoon into cases, sprinkle with cheese and into the oven until the cheese melts.
  • Chicken, spring onion, mushroom.  Cook chicken, add other ingredients, add some cream (I used to make a white/ cheese sauce but laziness made me try cream!!) parmesan cheese works well on these ones!!  If you are using the small cases the ingredients have to be chopped up very well.
  • One I haven't tried making but have eaten is nutella.  Yep simply spoon some nutella into the small cases.  No cooking required and bloody delicious!!
  • Mini shepards pies.  Savoury mince with mashed potato on top.  I will try this in winter for sure!!
I would love to hear any other suggestions as vol au vents are here to stay at our place!!

Its Monday which is Open Slather over at One Mother Hen!!

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Christmas wish list. I know I am dreaming!!

Photobucket tagged me in the Christmas wishlist which was started by Essentially Jess.  Simply what are my 5 wishes for Christmas.  Here they are!!

  1. A weekly sleep in on a Sunday until 8am.  This would mean I need 2 kids and a cat to not stir at their normal 530-6am.  Chances of this ZERO.
  2. A working not chuck a hissy fit computer.  Chances of this are slim to none.
  3. Working home internet without being put on hold and transferred to a million departments.  Chances of this happening while I regain some sanity are pretty much zero.
  4. A never ending bottle of wine or bourbon or malibu.  Chances of this would have to be zero!!
  5. World bloody peace and harmony.  Chances of this also zero as there are way too many tools in the world.
I don't want a lot really!!

Now here are my 5 bloggers who now need to give me their 5 wishes and pass it on etc

Bloggers Boogey- Christmas

Its December!!  Time to get into the festive spirit!!

Linking up with Little White Dove for some Saturday fun!!

Friday, 7 December 2012

FFS Friday- Is Christmas over yet.

My week started last Friday when I took the kids to the local pool and slipped walking into the kids pool smashing my back on to the step.  FFS

I have a lovely bruise the colours of the rainbow.  FFS

Saturday was another stinking hot day and was also the big one's preschool party.  It was at the air conditioned club but the air con could not handle about 200 people in one room and was not working properly.  FFS

Sunday we went back to the club for the ham raffles and did not come close to winning one.  FFS

I dressed the big one in an orange shirt so I could half ass parent and keep an eye on him by just looking for the orange.  About 4 kids all had orange shirts on.  FFS

Lucky we live in a small town and an old guy who stops and chats each time he walks past our place is selling us a ham he won at the raffles, $40 for a massive ham.  FFS (seriously how many people have had someone knock on their door and sell them a ham!!)

Sunday also saw the HOTH make a sad discovery of the wallaby from last week having been hit by a car and laying dead on the side of the road not far from our place.  FFS

I feel guilty as I should have rung WIRES to let them know about the random wallaby roaming the streets and breaking into our house.  FFS

Sunday was also the day I innocently started world war 3 amongst the HOTH's family.  FFS

No joke.  Wars have been started over less than the debacle that is Christmas day.  FFS

All week every time we mention Christmas it is followed by FFS.  FFS

Makes me glad I have no family in Sydney anymore, although the guilt trip phone calls of when are you coming to visit us are increasing in number to about 3 a week.  FFS

Bring on boxing day when it will all be over for 364 more days.  FFS

The baby keeps stealing toy cars from playgroup, he has quite the collection of stolen vehicles.  FFS

I also need to come up with some kind of party food for the playgroup Christmas party and as we missed last week all the chips, dips and cheese have been taken.  FFS

I cannot be bothered to think about what to have and cook for dinner let alone think of something and cook to take to a party.  FFS

Telstra are again about to cop it from me.  FFS

They changed my number back to the old one with no problems, but when I finally started to set up my new modem and sat on hold for the best part of 2 hours over the space of the day and found out that the broadband is set to the old number they gave us I lost my shit.  FFS

That was Wednesday.  I could not stand calling them yesterday so today being Friday will be the day.  FFS

How hard can it be.  FFS

Lastly hands up if you are designated driver for your partner's work harbour cruise Christmas party this weekend.  FFS

It was either drive or have to get up at 8am hungover as all hell and drive home so the babysitter can escape by 930am.  FFS

Making tough grown up mature decisions sux.  FFS

Linking up with Dear Baby G as it wouldn't be Friday without the weekly whinge.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Readers Choice= Stuff/Places I boycott or whats on my shit list.

I only really have one place I boycott and that is one of the local mechanics in my town.  I have never got a good vibe from him and hated taking my car for a service there.  Last time he had my car for a rego check (I think), 2 days later it blew up a gearbox.  I have not been there for over 5 years and will not go back.

I always say I am boycotting the big stores like Tarjay especially when you go in there a month before Christmas and they have 4 out of a possible 12 registers open.  Happened to me last week!!  I never do though!!

Stuff on my shit list-  This is a list that just keeps growing!!  The last things to be added is
Campbells Country Ladle Kids Soup Chicken Noodle 290gCampbells Country Ladle Kids Soup Tomato Noodle 295gHeinz Pasta Shapes Thomas & Friends 220g

Years ago the HOTH was an interstate truck driver so he was gone 5-6 days a week.  I never really cooked dinner for myself I just used to have lean cuisines, baked beans/eggs on toast, cheese on toast etc.  Occasionally I would buy some "kids" stuff like the number spaghetti just to be different and it was yummy and tasted just like normal canned spaghetti.  Fast forward to when the big one starts eating food, I bought some dinosaur or wiggles spaghetti for him and YUCK they had changed the recipe and it is now tasteless and disgusting.  So now I just don't buy it.  All the kids canned food is the same.  A few weeks ago they spotted the Charlie and Lola soup and begged me to get some so I got the 2 flavours thinking it could not be that bad.  Wrong.  They had the chicken one the day we got it and just ate their toast as it was repulsive and the other night they had the tomato one and that was just as disgusting.  2 more things added to the list.  I really don't get why they changed it and I would love to know if any kids (or adults) actually eat it and enjoy it.

Linking up with Tegan from Musings of the Misguided For Readers Choice and I am using her topic this week too!! 

So tell me folks whats on your shit list? 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Wordless Wednesday- Visit to Santa 2012

The bottom of the tree in the QVB

Wow so pretty!!

Whats better than a massive amazing tree?

Stunning!!  I thought it would look great at my place but the HOTH refuses to cut a hole in the roof to fit it in!!

The Strand Arcade

"Look mum a light house and big boat"

The big one just about lost it when he saw the pirate ship!!

I will make it on one of these one day!!

Bridge climbers

Getting ready for NYE

We had such a fun day and cannot wait to do it all again next year!!

Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.  And thanks to Trish and some others who blogged about going to the QVB last year.  It was by far the best we have been to.  Santa was amazing, so happy and nice and we will go back there every year.

P.S My computer is being slightly naughty the last couple of weeks and refuses to let me reply back to comments.  I am not being rude its the computer!!