Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Years Eve

Today is the day.

Today I get our lives back in order after Christmas.

I have had the most wonderful little Christmas season. We had lots of time with friends and family ... it was all very relaxed.

But now my house is trashed.

I am NOT going into the new year like this ... so that leaves me ... today.

I am ready. Healthy food so I don't have to go out. Music to blast. Fans for when the day gets hot. Husband to take Miss 5 out of my way.

See you tonight. Off to find me a sadie scarf so I look the part!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pictures from my little town

We are an island. You cannot get in - you cannot get out.

But our home is safe and dry an out of danger - we are so grateful for that.

But the river keeps rising - the dam is close to 100% and expected to go over, flooding more homes.

We are grateful the drought is over, but Lord, could the rains stop now??

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas morning!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

So far our day has been beautiful!

I had to wake miss e as she slept in past 7 ... and mama couldn't wait anymore!

Santa had been!

And somehow he knew exactly what she had asked for!

Everything she opened she said "I've been waiting my whole life for this!!!"

Hope your morning is wonderful too!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A little secret

I actually own a rolling pin. I might even own two.

But every year when we bake cookies I can never find where it is.

So every time I use one of these.

A wine bottle
(or in this year's case - a mighty fine, and almost empty bottle of port)

Works for me!

Christmas Cookies! It's tradition!

For five years Miss E and I have baked Christmas cookies together!

(her first Christmas she was 7mths - a wee bit small - and mummy was still in new mummy fog to start with baking!)




(Yep - we had just made rocky road first. Can you tell by the chocolate on her face??

The best bit about this year is she could do almost all of it on her own!

Melts my mummy heart to see how beautiful she is growing! And how little she once was!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

When mama needs a full morning cleaning ...

This is what we do!

Cubby under the kitchen table. She is close enough to see what I am doing - but happy and occupied!

FUN! Who needs computer games?

Two more sleeps! ARRGHHH!!!


This has come fast.

Today is my last full day at home before Christmas day. Tomrorow I work a late shift.

I have a lot to do today.

Babysteps I guess. Right now I am glad Christmas only comes once a year!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Today I did ....

Feel like today is a day I need a list to inspire me on how I am going!

Today I have

  • ordered a new pickpocket for work
  • washing x 1 load
  • emptied dishwasher
  • loaded dishwasher
  • swept
  • emptied rubbish
  • picked up lounge
  • packed gym gear
  • went to gym
  • shopped
  • got to the post office
  • folded laundry
  • made dinner
  • wrapped gifts

and soon i'm off to work

OK - not as much as I hoped - but it was a good day still!

Tomorrow ...

My mum and dad are currently watching Miss E so I can work late shifts for the next two days.

Which gives me a few free mornings to get things organised for Christmas, and things tidied up around here.

I cannot WAIT!

I'll be checking in each day - hope to post pics of progress as I go!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A new blog ... and a weight loss update

I wish I could share the emotions of the last 12 weeks with you all.

In 12 weeks I have lost 12 kg. That is 12% of my starting weight lost. That is huge!

For 12 weeks I have taken part in THE BEST weight loss and fitness program I have ever seen. And trust me - I know what I am talking about.

The best because it teaches you how to eat and why. The best cause it challenges you to get strong and fit and make NO excuses. The best because it supports you emotionally, 24 hours a day online. The BEST because you are taught by MICHELLE BRIDGES, the personal trainer of the biggest loser. And yes - she does respond to my tweets, facebook posts and messages.

THE best program because Michelle works with you every week on your mindset. Why you have gained weight. And works through every excuse and emotion and stupid habit that has gotten you here. And she gives you the tools to beat them

If you are struggling with your weight, if you want to change your world - PLEASE consider checking out her program. Yes - you can do it from anywhere in the world.

The site is

Registration will open again soon. The preseason starts in January to make sure you are READY mind and body for the weight loss to begin. The season starts in February.

In the meantime I AM NOT STOPPING. To keep me focussed I have started this blog - The courage to start. This is going to cover my journey in the off season, the weight I am going to lose, and my fitness journey once the new season begins.

Come and have a look. Come and follow my blog. Come back and encourage me - this is a long journey - I need all the help I can get!

But above all - if you have struggled, come and follow me for a while and see what it's all about. There is no fad diet here. It is eating less, moving more and changing your mindset. And if you think it could work for you come join me.

This could change your life. It certainly has mine.

From our garden

We are getting this and more every day!

Makes me happy! (anyone have a good summer tomato salad recipe??)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My happy place

Every morning lately ... this little space in my kitchen is making me a very happy lady.

You see - even Miss E knows how things work around here. You ask her what mummy likes and she answers "Mummy sure does like her coffee!"

However - I have struggled for years to make a cup of coffee I love at home.

Honestly - lately I've stuck to instant. It's quick. Makes a consistent cup (whether that's consistently good is debateable but it gets me through work). And it is no fuss.

In the past I have owned coffee machines. And I have hated them. There is a real skill in getting a good espresso. And I don't drink enough coffee that the beans stay fresh for us. Grinding them? Tried it - but more mess. And coffee machines lead to mess. Water on the bench. Clean up. Coffee grounds everywhere.

A plunger? Yep it works. But again I have to dispose of the grinds. And that means mess. And it's the frothy milk I love in a good coffee and the plunger doesn't do that.

But then I met this. The nespresso Citiz and Milk by deLonghi. Oh it is LOVE.

The coffee is good. Consistently good. Every time it is the same. And the coffee is hot.
The aerocinno makes perfect frothy milk. I mean look at it!

And no mess. It does it on it's own. I do not make it. All I do is pour the milk and press a button.

There is no mess. None at all. The secret you see are the pods. Each pod contains one serve of coffee grinds. You put it in the machine. It pierces it. Makes your coffee. And you throw it away. There is NO MESS at all.

Yes the coffee is dearer. But I don't care. It is in my budget and the price makes me limit how much I drink anyway. And it is cheaper than from a cafe coffee (and better too!)

This is definately a thing I love! Great coffee. Just as I like it. In less time than it takes to boil a jug. Happy day!

We love a little bit of Christmas spirit here ...

Every girl deserves something a little special at Christmas to wear!

Hope you are having just as much fun as we are in the lead up to Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chocolate zuchinni muffins

The egg and zuchinni glut continue.
Today I had 27 eggs in my fridge.That is after I gave some away to my neighbour yesterday with the threat "you can only have eggs if you take some zuchinni too!"

So I made zuchinni slice. Again. Oh - and this time I took out the oil and substituted the same volume of milk. It was perfect. You didn't notice the difference. Good thing Miss E LOVES zuchinni slice. And since I often put extra veges in - I think it's a great thing for her to have at lunch! (I used wholemeal flour too)

Anyway ... I still had eggs. And zuchinni. Lots of them.

Google to the rescue ...

And enter Chocolate zuchinni muffins.

1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
1 cup white self raising flour
1/2 cup sugar
teaspoon (ish) of nutmeg and cinnamon
a half teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 cup good cocoa powder

3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoons vanilla
1.5 cups grated zuchinni

How to ...

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl
Mix the wet in another + zuchinni
Mix them together

Bake in moderate oven until done.

(ours took about 20min!)

For the record ... they taste REALLY good
And not one kid refused them!

Oh - a little note - I always bake my muffins and cupcakes in a plain liner, then slip them inside the decorative one when cool ... that way the liner is clean and the colours still crisp! Oh - and the christmas papers are from woolworths ... the little santa toothpicks were 50% off at spotlight!)

Our new girls!

We love our girls. (This is Renae by the way - she gives us one egg a day without fail - as do her two mates - Corinne and Aramina)

They eat our scraps. They give us eggs. They provide me with fertiliser for my vege garden. And they make me happy.

And now they have some new neighbours!

(and for the record - it was all my husbands idea! He found them, talked me into them, and dragged me back to get them after work!)

Meet our two new silkies. Ok - they may not ever give us the egg supply of our existing three girls ... but they sure are cute!

Meet Sweetie

And Cutie

These are Miss E's chickens. She is already pretty good at looking after our existing chooks ... but these are just HER size. They are still pretty young so we are hoping that they will get used to her handling them early on ...

So far it looks like they don't have a choice!

(And Paul is secretly looking forward to cooking an 8 egg omlette for one I think!)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Zuchinni slice

We are blessed to have excess. Our chickens are providing more eggs than we can eat. We have so many tomatoes. Zuchinnis are growing faster than we can pick them.

Which means ... tis the season for zucchini slice!

Miss E made it all by herself! She even cracked all the eggs without any shell!

This is my favourite recipe

5 eggs
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour, sifted (we used wholemeal - and lets face it - I never sift it)
375g zucchini, grated
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
We also add grated carrot if I have them ... or any other vegetable

Grating has never been so easy since I got this attachment for my kitchenaid!

Beat the eggs. Mix everything else in. Pour it in a greased pie dish and cook at 170C for 30 minutes.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

For Gran and Grandy - our little ballerina

Since you can't be there today ....

Thought I'd send you a photo from just before she went on last night!!

Isn't she beautiful???

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Things I love - reduce water bottles

These are my new favourite items!

Reduce water bottles - 5 water bottles + stand to store them in your fridge

I love these because they encourage me to drink more water. I start each day with one by my side, and then grab one whenever I need it. More water, less money spent on other drinks and better for my health.

I also love them because Miss E is drinking more, and is also learning to think for herself when we go out. She now grabs a bottle of water for her and for me. It is teaching her good habits, and independance.

Love them!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our gratitude chain

My gran called it counting your blessings.

We have so much to be thankful for this Christmas.
Family that loves us, a home that is safe, a country without war, earthquake, floods or famine. Every time I turn on the news I give thanks for my life.

And Miss E is learning that there is a world outside her very lucky world this Christmas. We have already participated in the school's "Adopt a family" tradition, and she has worked hard to earn money to buy a gift for under the giving tree. And this year we are reminding ourselves to give THANKS!

Every day we are adding an extra link to our gratitude chain, to remind us that we have so much to be thankful for. And hopefully friends and family and guests to our home will help our chain to grow during this holiday period.

Eliana wrote the first link. All on her own. I did not tell her what to be thankful for. *happy tears*

The reason ...

Merry Christmas Everyone! In all things give THANKS!

And we would love to hear what you are thankful for ... add it in the comments so we can all share!

Countdown to Christmas!

It's here!! It's here! I am SO excited!

Not only is it December - and the start of my FAVOURITE time of the year ... but my countdown chain from SUGAROWLDESIGNS on etsy arrived!!!

We use paper chain to countdown to all sorts of things. Now we have a beautiful, handmade item that we can treasure and use throughout the years! Every day we remove an extra loop from the chain ... when we are down to one it will be CHRISTMAS DAY!!

This is so much fun! Miss E is loving it, and it really helps us solve the "how many more sleeps" issue.

In fact, I love the idea so much that I bought a "non Christmas" rainbow version too ... countdown to New Years, school starting, birthday, easter .... anything!

Of course - you don't need to spend a cent to use this idea - paper chains work just as well and are fun to make. But we have another plan for the paper chains this year. Be back later with pics of that!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Reindeer dust! Or ... Mummy 1, Sugar 0

It's that time of the year.

When every second Christmas card and every well meaning shop assistant has a candy cane ready to rot the teeth of your child (and let's face it - the kids don't like them much anyway!)

The solution to all our candy cane woes is this. Magic Reindeer dust!

As the candy canes arrive we open them and crush them into little pieces. Add a sprinke of red and green glitter, and store in an airtight container.

Now we have reindeer dust ready to sprinkle on the lawn on Christmas Eve for the reindeer! Full of energy and magic to help them fly around the world!

And Miss E thinks it is SO magical! She couldn't wait to make it and there was no talk AT ALL of eating any of those canes! WIN!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Christmas snacks!

Red and green ... the colours of Christmas!

We needed to bring a plate to school break up and wanted to find a way to get away from the stodge and sugar that is overwhelming this time of year.

Some cute Christmas boxes, skewers, an orange as a base and red and green grapes and we have a fun, yummy snack!

Now I just need to see if they get eaten!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010