Thursday, August 30, 2012

My men... Making me smile on a sad day...

Had a crappy day today... Mace teething hard core, pushing my buttons! Then mum gives me the news that a family member has terminal cancer, my Nanna's (who died from cancer) sister... Brought up a whole lot of crap from when Nanna died, we looked after her at the end of her life and she died in our lounge room... Needless to say the day was long and sad...

Mace and I were playing with Marley's stickers and he was covered in them... A while later we were all on the couch and Mace started transferring them on to Mark's tattoo's... It was comforting enough that the 4 of us were cuddling on the couch, but this brought a smile to my face!

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Kid's obsessions... Doc McStuffins

If you have kids, or even know kids, you know they can go through mad obsessions... I remember when Marley was 1, she was bonkers about Ernie from Sesame Street... It went on for quite some time, as a result we have loads of Ernie's laying around (I am semi hoping that Mace takes a liking to him, haha)! I remember her little voice chanting Er-neee, good times!

Now she is 3, she has been through loads of 'phases', certainly not all of them result in purchases... Some months ago, Disney Junior started advertising Doc McStuffins, loads! It worked, Marley wanted it IQ'd from the get go, and watched it religiously while Mark put Mace to bed and I did yoga... Inevitably it has been released on DVD and I ordered it on amazon... Today it arrived and with Mace teething and to avoid the post crèche crazy, it has been on, around half the day... Say what you will about kids tv, but if it will stop mine going bonkers the day after crèche each Thursday, I am sooooo in!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nails did...

One of the many nail related gifts mum brought back from the US Nails Inc London Sprinkles: Pudding Lane... It's very easy to go on, fast drying too... A sweet and cute colour, not sure it goes well with my skin tone though... Marley grabbed my hands this morning, inspected them and said 'beautiful', she must think they look okay!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new...

There is nothing that makes me more aware that Marley is growing up, then when she grows out of items that I love... These kicks were just beautiful, they looked so adorable on her! Unfortunately she had her last wear of them today... Out with the old and in with the new!

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Hilltop Hoods and Briggs at Festival Hall...

I have been a big fan of the Hilltop Hoods for the last ten plus years... Back when I was young, and they were coming up, I caught every show they did from 2001... From a tiny little show in Geelong, Big Day Out side stage, Big Day Out main stage, their first London show, Metro (now Palace), and every little club gig in between... They are my favourite Australian hip hop act, closely followed by the Funkoars...

Having Marley obviously changed my life, I dropped off the scene... Leaving the beautiful humans and music behind... I saw this show was on but my Mum wasn't arriving back from her month around the US until the day before... Then, for some reason she agreed to have them and I tried to book tickets, they were sold out, but Briggs came through with a hook up (to my excitement!), and it was on...

I was stoked that even though Festival Hall was sold out, there was still LOADS of room! The bar choices were crappy so I indulged in one drink and didn't bother with another... I was clearly on the minority, messy humans every where!

It was good to catch some of Maundz set, felt bad that it was still so empty for him... I felt that maybe if it was more full, he would have played differently? It's a tough set, but I am glad we caught it!

Then it was time for Briggs, it was so good seeing him do a solo show, that's how long I have been gone! Dude has stage presence, charisma and skills... Was so impressed, and proud of him!!! It's so good when you see an artist from day one, how much he has grown into his act, big things ahead for Briggs!!!

Horrorshow played, I wasn't feeling it, but the crowd definitely was...

Of course the Hilltop Hoods smashed it, it was expected! They are professionals, their show has come a long way since the last time I saw them! With all of the same luxuries of big international acts, big screens, pyrotechnics, crowd eating out of their hand! Dudes have energy, presence, they are still completely enthralling... The only downside was that I felt that they played more of their 'new' stuff, which makes sense, but it's their old stuff that started my love affair with them... In any case, the show was dope!

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Wiggles with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

The Wiggles meet the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Saturday 25 August 2012 10am Hamer Hall

I had mixed feelings about this show... Wanted my kids to be exposed to the orchestra, but also wondered if it would kill their vibe a bit... It didn't! It was another lovely musical layer... The Wiggles pack in most of their usual routine, all of the favourites, in an intimate setting... I was really glad we came!

From the get go, in their small entourage I noticed the 'new' wiggles, it was good that in the end they were introduced as Wiggles in training... Gave the kids a minute to get to know them, especially as we aren't trekking to Rod Laver arena with 13,000 other kids to seethe goodbye show... This was our third time in a year, and I definitely prefer the more intimate settings! This was the furthest back we have been from them (row p), the other times, the 3rd and 8th rows, I like it, always been a front row kind of girl myself! Haha..

In any case, they were brilliant, was glad to see the originals play one last time... Can't wait to see what the new Wiggles bring!

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday baking - Baklava cigars

Being home bound with Marley's latest cold, I did Friday's baking on Thursday, in hope that she would be well enough to do something awesome Friday, it didn't turn out that way... I chose baklava cigars, a lot of preparing with filo pastry, I'm NOT a fan! Here is the recipe
They need a lot of syrup to not come off as dry... The flavours of the cigars and the syrup are delicious, but I like wet food, so I added ice cream! That was delicious... I'm not that into white chocolate, this was something I made for Mark's tastes, and they certainly hit the spot for him!

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

JD Delivery...

You all know we are into kicks, when Mark got his fire red Jordan's, there weren't kids sizes yet, by the time I got back to the shops, they were sold out of his size! So I jumped onto the JD website and ordered some, got some cute Dunks for Marley too!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Yoga and Pilates, bringing calm to my life...

I am one of those annoying people that enjoys exercise... It all started when we were building up to trying to have Marley, I stopped drinking a year before we started 'trying', and I started exercising... Seriously exercising... 5 times a week, pump, Pilates, yoga, and a personal weights and cardio program... It didn't take long and my body started changing, I lost weight and what was left was toning up, I'm talking an ab line! Then pregnancy occurred fast, and I managed to keep it up, until I was 8 months pregnant! 6 weeks after Marley, I was back... It was definitely harder to get there, but I did it... And then I was pregnant again and I just couldn't manage! I was exhausted, so switched to a home yoga DVD and did that most days... I must say that just yoga, as opposed to the exercise onslaught in my first pregnancy, really helped my back, especially in the later stages! No back pain at all!!!

Once Mace arrived I couldn't do it, it would take as long as the class just to get there and back... So I stopped... I did yoga DVDs sporadically but was too tired that first year to really bother... I was watching my food intake and losing weight, but I missed the burn, so downloaded a couple of seasons of yoga and Pilates DVDs to my iPad and got serious about it... Every day I do something, whether it's a 10 minute stretch, or 40 minutes of pain, Mark is even joining me now! Once the kids are in bed we do a class before starting our own night routine!

The benefits are numerous! I can get my hands flat under my feet instead of just touching my toes... I sleep really well, every night... Whatever stress the day brought, I let go, this is probably why I sleep so well! My awful spare tyre is melting away, slowly, but it is happening! I definitely recommend some exercise, especially yoga and Pilates, it feels so good, like it makes you a better version of yourself!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cheesy Vegemite Scrolls

I got an amazing amount of sleep last night, so today I have been in top gear! I baked these cheesy Vegemite scrolls for the kids lunch... The recipe was from the stay at home mum Facebook page... To me it feels a little doughy, needs more Vegemite and more cheese inside... These are just rookie mistakes, can be fixed next time! Still tasty in any case...

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Meat free Mondays... Jerk (fake) chicken...

Apparently this is a thing in the UK, I don't know anyone who does it over here... However my husband is just about vegan,due to a combination of being vegetarian and dairy intolerance, so most days are meat free in our house! The kids and I eat meat when it's easy to make an alternative...

When it comes up, as it inevitably does, that he is vegan, people say stupid things like 'what do you eat?' or 'that's boring!'... It really doesn't have to be! I do find vegetarian/vegan cookbooks often to be bland, I usually just adapt things that I like to my families requirements! For example, no animal products for Mark, not too spicy for the kids!

The jerk chicken recipe is adapted from the one in Delicious magazine last month:
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 small red onion chopped
1.5 tbsp chopped parsley
1 garlic clove chopped
2cm ginger chopped
1 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
Juice 1 lime
1tbs soy sauce
1tbs brown sugar
2 tbs sunflower oil
300g bag of quorn pieces (fake chicken

Keep aside a tablespoon of the marinade to put into the sauce..

Whizz up everything but the quorn, then put it all in a pan and cook for 10-15 mins on medium heat... Make sure your quorn is fully covered in marinade...

I don't remember which website I got the sauce recipe from originally, but I have changed it a bit over the time I have made it!

Jerk sauce
1tbs oil
1 onion
1 celery stick
1 spring onion
Tbs garlic
Tsp thyme
Tbs jerk marinade - above
Tbs every day seasoning
Tsp sugar
Tbs tomato sauce
150ml vegetable stock

Whizz it all up aside from the stock, cook it on medium to low heat for 15 mins, add the stock at 5 mins, stir in...

Put your cup of rice on at the start of the cooking and you will have it all ready in 25 minutes! It is delicious! If you aren't feeding little ones, substitute the chilli flakes for a whole chilli! And obviously, if you eat animals, substitute the quorn, but my point is that you don't need meat for a flavoursome meal! It feeds 4...

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Bossypants - Tina Fey

Tina Fey is hilarious, and of course her book is hilarious! It was an easy read that made me laugh out loud several times... It is definitely worth reading...

The only issue for me was, it wasn't addictive... While I was reading it, I just wanted to keep on reading, but the minute I put it down, I would forget about it... Which is why it took so long to read... Am definitely in the market for a page turner...

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Friday baking... Caramel slice...

I know it's not Friday, but I didn't have time to post this then...

Mark wanted caramel slice and I was down with that! I grabbed the recipe of and went for it... Unfortunately the recipe takes ages due to a 3-4 hour refrigeration in the middle of the recipe! Lucky I started at 8am, it was ready for afternoon tea, haha...

Tastes good, maybe a little more biscuit then I would like, and less chocolate... But that's just me!

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Mother daughter combo...

My new Nike Air Max 1's and Marley's Nike Dunk's... I love these kicks on Marley, she will soon be out of them... Fortunately she had some new Dunk's waiting!

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Our house has gone Lego mad...

First it was minifigs, which we have far too many of! Marley loves taking them all apart and putting them back together... Now it's Lego Friends, the 'girl's' Lego series... She is deeply obsessed with it, Mark puts it together, she takes bits off and puts them back together... And of course plays with the girl minifigs around her little town... We spend a LOT of time looking at all of the Friends options at the shops, and are just about decided that she will be getting Olivia's house for Christmas, a freaking huge construction, that I am sure they will enjoy putting together on Christmas day!

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

3 year olds notice what is the same about us, not what divides us...

I spend a lot of time with Marley, I have watched as she has begun her quest to find out who she is and where she fits in this world... People say things like hate is taught, sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, all taught... I believe this... When we are out in the world, park, shops, our street, crèche, Marley is constantly working out where she fits in any given situation... She says thinks like, she has blonde hair like me, she has a pink dress like me, he likes cars like me, they like yoghurt like me, she likes black like you mum! Always working out how we, as humans, are all alike...

In my beautiful girls untarnished view, we are all the same, we aren't separated by our race, politics, hate... We are all just people, with lots of similarities... I wish that it stayed as basic as this... Just think, same sex couples could get married, people whose lives were in imminent danger could come and share the awesome life that we have in Australia, there could be peace, joy, love...

If only it was as simple as it was when you were 3...

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Baby mani pedi with OPI...

Marley, like most 3 year old girls, loves getting her nails done... She takes a serious interest in my weekly mani, and her own weekly pedi... I have recently started allowing her a very pale pink OPI Minnie Mouse, on her finger nails, every now and again you get a shiny heart amongst all those sparkles! I have also let her get a tiny bit more bold in her toes with OPI Miss Piggy which is super sparkly, I wasn't a fan of it on myself so I have let her keep it!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

JD Sports Delivery! Nike Air Max 1

My collection of sneakers mostly consists of Nike Air Max 90's, but 1's are growing on me... I never liked them before, but I got a pair about 6 months ago and they are cute! Have spent all winter thinking about replacing my white/grey/black 90's that are on their way out, and these absolutely fit the criteria... Black with white accents has become my uniform this winter, so these kicks are perfect! After JD messing us around on our last order, I thought it best to do some small orders on our account so they don't think it suspicious when we do something big!

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Monday, August 13, 2012

My new apron...

Who says baking can't be hot?!?

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Virgin Australia is the way to fly!

We have long flown Jetstar around Australia, obviously because it's the cheapest... The past two flights I have taken with Jetstar with my kids have been AWFUL... Really inconsistent, incompetent staff that make you feel like you are an inconvenience to them, not that they are being paid to look after you and keep you safe (that is their job right?), we have encountered some downright nasty people on their staff, too many incidents for it to not be company culture, and after the last flights we decided to make the change... (a friend flew with Jetstar recently and had the exact same complaints with them, wrote and angry email and were also given compensation money, you have to wonder how many hundreds of dollars they are wasting compensating, that should be used on training!)
Flying to Cairns we booked with Virgin, and what a good idea that was! The staff were lovely, from check in, to boarding, they took the time to make us feel welcome in their workplace, on both flights... The real test came when we were delayed on the way home (this is when Jetstar staff are the angriest), Mace missed his sleep and went into meltdown, my kids don't have tantrums, so I was at a loss as to how I could help him, nothing was working, he was devastated, it was awful, for him, for us, for everyone on the flight! The staff were lovely, we were chatting to a girl called Kylie, she came back and took him off our hands, for half hour! Brought him back a completely different child! I felt like they went above and beyond their job descriptions, all of us in it together, helping us, not ostracising us for our angry, tired baby...
On the way up we also had our own tv screens which was to Marley's absolute delight! We have made the choice that no matter what the cost, we will be flying with them only from now on... If you have kids and are looking to fly interstate, I highly recommend them!
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Sunday, August 12, 2012


Music makes me so sentimental...  Or my sentimentality is brought to the surface by music...  Nirvana is one of those bands that has meant so much to me, from the first time I heard them, right through...  I am still deeply saddened by Kurt's death, I was a teenager when it happened and I was devastated, few artists have the impact that he did on me...

Yesterday one of Mark's friends was saying (on twitter) that he had been to the Seattle Nirvana exhibit, it coincidentally has come up while Mark and I are considering what child free holidays we might like to take in our future, and we have decided that in a few trips we will head to Seattle to check it out...  I know Kurt was from Aberdeen, but the exhibit is the main thing I want to check, I think it will be the start of a holiday, I would hate to go on our way home and then be miserable, we did that at the Twin towers site in NYC on our first trip there, it was too sad!

Anyway, check the interview, his parting sentiments are a good reminder that no matter what went on later, at one point he and Courtney were deeply in love...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Diamonds are forever...

If you know me, you know that I'm not really into jewellery... But I have wanted this ring for almost my entire adult life...
When I was in my very early 20's my auntie came down from Cairns and had recently bought this amazing ring, 5 brilliant diamonds in a platinum band... Every time she moved her hand it sparkled in the light, and I thought that one day, I would like a ring just like that... As life went on I kept that in the back of my mind... I didn't want a flashy engagement ring, there was no way that anything we could afford could compete with my hearts desire, and in all honesty I couldn't wear a big diamond to work, then or now, I just don't feel like it would be fair on my clients... But I could wear my engagement ring, I loved it and it was modest enough not to get mugged for, and I was beyond happy that the love of my life had proposed and that was enough... Still, I hoped that one day we would purchase a ring like this, my dream piece of jewellery...
Recently the opportunity presented itself, and we took it... Mark calls it the 'just because your awesome' ring, I like that...

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Kuranda Butterfly Sanctuary

I have been to Cairns well into double digits, and have managed to never head out to Kuranda.. We made the trip with the kids, my aunt and nephew, to check out the butterfly sanctuary, both of my kids are obsessed with them! It was a windy road, but not too bad, we arrived in good time for opening... The staff were delightful and we made it just before the free guided tour, which was surprisingly good! Lots of information and a look at the lab with the giant caterpillars...

The sanctuary itself is beautiful, lots of greenery, and not stuffy like the Melbourne Zoo because it's for local butterflies, so they survive in local temps... The local butterflies are just divine, huge mofos! We had a great time, and then cruised around the town a little, checked the sparse markets, went to the park and had our lunch... A really lovely morning!

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Coconuts Holiday Resort Cairns

This place is the bomb, if you have kids... With amazing facilities, awesome playground, massive jumping pillows, several pools and a waterpark! There are also sports, bikes etc, but our kids are too small... The staff have been brilliant, the villa is huge! Seriously worth every penny... Combined with the beautiful Cairns winter weather (26 and sunny), this is absolutely perfect for an escape from Melbourne's winter and crèche colds!
The city and a mall are close by for shopping, there is a local IGA and an onsite milk bar for done over priced emergency goods... This also means that Cairns is on your doorstep, but I can see why some people don't leave the resort... It really is perfect for little people, which makes it perfect for everyone!

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Holiday nails...

Getting my holiday mani pedi sorted... Using Sally Hansen Salon Effects as usual, so I know my nails will last my whole holiday... Love the leopard, and we will be going into the jungle, well Daintree, so it's fitting!

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Little girls and self image...

My 3 year old girl, Marley, knows that she is beautiful... Amongst other compliments (funny, smart, musical, artistic, sweet, thoughtful, caring, tidy, etc), I tell Marley that she is beautiful every day, several times a day... People say not to put a big emphasis on a child's beauty, but society does, and to be honest, I would prefer her to believe that she is beautiful then to question it...

There are stats around saying 7 year old girls are already having body image issues, this breaks my heart... I wouldn't wish this on any primary school child, it's hard enough as a teenager, woman in her 20's, or in her 30's even! Haha... I want Marley to have a firm belief on the inside that she is beautiful and the perfect body shape, for her... I have made a point of not talking about my weight/shape, around her... She doesn't need to know about how carrying two babies has left me feeling about my mid section, what she does know is that sugar is a treat, that we exercise every day to stay fit and healthy, and the day she thinks about it as a way to get skinny, or what ever the term for thin is at the time, it's going to break my heart... I know it will happen, but I just hope that by the time she twigs about all that stuff, she is happy enough with her self that she doesn't mind...

Right now my innocent little sweetheart thinks she looks like Rapunzel, her favourite Princess, and that's fine by me...

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Friday baking (I know it's Thursday) - Smitten Kitchen's Potato chip cookie!

Friday baking has become tradition in my house the past couple months, while it is Thursday, we are going on holiday Saturday, so I will be packing, tidying etc Friday... I was speaking to my aunt on the phone yesterday (she is a keen baker) and she told me about these cookies, I immediately knew that Mark would be into them, and so, I must bake them! Marley was in the mood to help, so she did, we did a good job! I need to say how much easier life gets as the kids get older...

We had them for dessert, and unfortunately while they are okay, I think Marley was the only one of us that was sold on them... You win some, you lose some... Losing, of course, makes me want to bake something else tomorrow, but I really don't have the time!

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rapunzel - Tangled dress

Marley LOVES Rapunzel! She has recently grown out of her Tinkerbell, Snow White and Cinderella (she holds it up 'mum, I think it's almost ready for Mace?') dress ups and I was going to get her the Disney dress, but it's $50, which is a lot to spend for a 'just because' gift... I saw these dresses on eBay, they are $22.99 delivered, the detail is incredible! Puffy sleeves and skirt, sequins all over, I doubt you could get the materials for that amount of money!!! Quick international delivery too, am really happy... I know she will be too!

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