Tuesday, November 30, 2010

El Cheapo Christmas Craft.

Last year at the boxing day sales we scored a 9 x 24 pack of medium size Christmas baubles for .25c each! But even at the moment you can get a pack of 12 balls for $3.00 at big W. They also have them in white, silver and black.

But, keep an eye out this year for after Christmas bargains.

I decided to put them to good use and decorate them.

Use them for not only our own tree but as small gifts for people like Master 5's teachers, Our grandparents and friends.

We bought some super cheap craft glue that can be used on Fabric, leather, paper, plastics and glass and drys clear. It cost $2.95 from the El cheapo shop. And 6 small vials of glitter, the pack for $2. We chose to use the fine glitter.

And the rest is explained in photos!
Give it a go.

So much fun!!

Tah Dah!

This is only a small snip it of our hand made and cheap made celebration gifts. Store brought is not a huge hit in the house. Mid year i give the toy sale catalogues to family with all the toys the kids 'want' not 'need' and they inital next to the toy they want to pay for. I then layby them all and get them out a week before chrissie.
At least 3 days before Christmas we do not step for near any shops..

Next year WE are holding Christmas day at our new home.. i cant wait to see what cheap buys i can scored at the boxing day sales and op shops throughout the year!

x N

Monday, November 29, 2010

At least it FITS!

While out doing on of my favourite time waister, Op Shopping i came across a $3 dress.. Size 10, but i thought i could use it as a bit of a 'kick' to lose some weight.

So this afternoon i tried it on to take some before and after shots and it actually fit! I'm sure it would look smashing on someone other then myself, but it fit! A size 10!

Now i know I'm not in 'real' size a size 10.. i think this dress has a bit of give.

I have no idea where i will wear it to.. but its the newest addition to my wardrobe.

x N

Chicken with a hint of ...chicken.

I'm a big big big fan of flavouring everything i cook..

Spaghetti bolognese sauce includes BBQ sauce, Sweet ABC soy, garlic, salt, tomato paste, Worcestershire and oyster sauce..

Lamb shanks are cooked in tomato soup, crushed tomato's, BBQ sauce, garlic, mustard, red wine and soy.

My roast spuds are covered in curry powder, french onion soup and oil

A few nights ago the main man wanted chicken and salad. 2 chicken breasts were priced at $10.05 , a small over cooked, under size, shrivelled looking Woolworth's cooked BBQ chook was $9.90 and some old looking thighs were about $6.70 for 4

So with the brains of my best friend, we decided to buy our own chook, the biggest one we could find and DIY!

I paid $11.20 for a huge chicken to feed 6 + leftovers!

She said to trust her on a lemon idea.. which turned out to be a huge hit!

'Lucy Oliver' (as i like to call her now..aka-Jamie Oliver's new wifey) Sat a full lemon in boiling water (After spilling the water over her hand! OUCH!) then rolled it to soften it, then popped it straight up my chooks rear.

She said the boiling fastened the cooking time, so it didn't have to heat itself while inside the chicken, and the rolling helped release the juices.

I then covered the chicken in some oil, sprinkled a little curry powder then thickly coated it in chicken soup powder. I would usually just use curry powder or french onion soup packets, but i had non, so we went with chicken flavoured chicken! Makes sense right?

And Holy moly! IT WAS DELISH!!

The chicken had this soft juicey hint of lemon through it with this amazing hard crunchy skin.

I must admit... This will be a 'once a week' meal.

Try it!

Uncooked whole chicken- to feed 6 $11.20

The juices down the bottom would be perfect for gravy! Just tip in to a sauce pan over medium heat and add some chicken stock. I would have, but we had ours with salad.

I think ill call this dish... "Chicken-Chicken"

Back to homemade..

For a while now ive been making master .7's food from scratch. Its not only a heck of a lot cheaper, but he seems to enjoy it alot more! And because hes such a beefcake, he goes through at least 2-3 small tins mixed with farax and milk per feed.

Hes still yet to crack a tooth, but seems to have no problem at all with chowing down on some chicken or a Vegemite sandwich.

A few nights ago i was a bit lazy with defrosting his food, so i cracked open a jar of beef and veg and mixed it with some farax and it was the worst idea ever. Poor Master .7 ended up with a 2 day belly ache and that's the only thing i could put it down to! So its back to homemade.

The main veggies and fruit we seem to use are Potato, sweet potato, zucchini, apples, pears and broccoli. And ive got to the stage where i can get away with mashing, instead of pureeing. Some times ive got to give the spuds a bit of an extra kick. But he seems to be find with small lumps.

Yesterday i thought to use the water with the apple juice that i just stued the apples in to cook the sweet potato. Worked a treat! Gave the spuds a bit of a sweet taste.

What other recipes do you have for kids? At approximately at the 8-9 month eating stage. Weve started adding some of what ever meats were eating in to his bowl like lamb, chicken or fish. He seems to be enjoying it.

Would love to hear your child's fave recipes!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What brings you happiness...

{ Caution.. This entry may be a little 'raw' }

Recently, Ok.. so maby a little longer then recently, there has been a huge lack of happiness in my life. The happiness that makes you laugh at TV ads. That makes you not worry about the kids toys scattered from the front door to the back, because the only reason for that.. is because your children have had fun. The happiness that makes you feel complete. Ive not had that for a while now.

My day starts at 5am. Whether its the kids waking up or panic attacks setting in. 5am its get up and go time.

Our day starts with Sighs, grunts, yelling, crying, tantrums, fights, battles with food and space. Rolling eyes, shaking heads, different opinions and slamming doors. Thats all before 8am.. and usually its not the kids.

So where is 'Up from here' How do we change this.. I cant make the kids sleep in longer, i cant make them leave the house, i cant make them be quiet.. how do WE accept our life? Is it even acceptable? How do we learn to not sweat the small stuff? How do we know whats small enough to let slide..

I feel like, as crazy as it sounds.. my mouth has actually taken on a different shape. Like the corners of my mouth actually slope down, making me constantly look sad! (I know.. i sound like a nut bag.. but at the moment, im ok with that)

You know how on facebook you have friends of friends then friends of those, but you dont know them.. but there photos are private so you have a bit of a stalk.. (Another nut bag moment) Well, i usually have a sticky and see what life is like over there way.
This morning i came across a family who just looked content. Happy with life. Gorgeous photos on the wall of their house, Having a great time at there sons birthday, kicking back with family and friends , clean and organised home, no clutter, no mess, just simple necessities.... the list goes on.
These people, i dont even know.. with there happiness made me smile. But its not MY happiness.

Some days, like today i would be more then happy to throw away everything i own that i thought made us happy, just to feel happy again. Get rid of all our useless toys , computers, gadgets and consoles, bikes and scooters, go carts and trade it all in for a pen and paper and the ability to sit and write how we feel towards each other. (If only the kids could write)

I feel like i have way to my 'stuff' in my life. Starting with my house. To much stuff! Useless stuff. To many lounges, toys, cabinets, shelves, chairs, clothes, pillows! So much STUFF!

Our house is lined with things, along our walls we have lounges, followed by tables, and desks and shelves and cabinets..ect I feel like im suffocating in furniture!

We have no structure. No routine, no set way to do things. I know life isnt suppose to be straight down the line, but when our day starts with Facebook and emails, not breakfast and cuddle.. some thing is defiantly not right.

When our day ends with TV, computer , xbox and no knowledge on how the day has been in the other person's shoes.. then were on a down hill battle.

Our day goes something along these lines.
( And i should probably add, this is the worst way of living ever! I appreciate the emails and messages with differant routine ideas, the following is just to note how wrong we have it.)
5amWake up time.
Check emails, facebook, ebay.. what ever other useless pathetic time wasting Internet stuff that needs to be done. This should NOT be our priority.. we shouldnt even LOOK at the computer let alone log on before feeding the kids! Its become such a dirty habit and i HATE facebook for it!
Get Baby a bottle
Crack it cause he wont drink.
6.00am 2 other kids are up, arguments start between everyone either because were tired, trying to wake up, hungry..ect
6.30am House starts to get in to a bit of turmoil. Kids are cranky, just woken up and wants space.
7am showers for 2 bigger kids and breakfast. clean kitchen
In the mean time still checking facebook *Rolls eyes*
7.30am dressed and cleaning up the breakfast mess . Dad leaves for work.
8am lunches are getting packed, extra breakfast being sorted, im rushing around attempting to shower with 3 kids in the lounge room. Coffee is officially cold,
8.30am dressed, bags packed, piling in to car for school run.
9.30am Morning tea and time to bath the baby,
10am Dinner in the slow cooker (on a good day) , kids to bed , sweep floors and pack away all toys.
10.30 Put a load of washing on, pack away all the toys from this mornings trashing of the house. Take the rubbish out, gather all the dirty clothes.
11am kids are up, lunch time, hang washing out. Entertain kids so Miss 2 doesn't break any more plates.. like the 2 she broke this morning.
1pm witching hour x 2 kids under 2.
Miss 2 screams and yells for no reason. Mr . 7 wants to be held all afternoon and cracks it if i even turn away from him.
2pm i sit and sob. Nothing else to do but cry.
2.30pm pile the kids back in the car and head to pick Mr 5 up,
3pm pick up time.
3.30 afternoon tea and nap time for baby. Take the kids out the front so he can sleep without the squeals and fighting.
4.30 Baby is up and time to prep dinner.
5pm Kids eat
5.30pm Kids in the shower
6pm Dad gets home and we try to keep to ourselves to allow him to unwind...
6.30 Nap time for baby and bed time for miss 2
7pm for Mr 5
8pm dinner time for mr .7
9pm bed time for mum.

During all this time and though out the day there is still arguing, and bitterness..

By the end of the night im exhausted , not just physically, but mentally.

Ive not spent any one on one time with master 5, who at the moment needs it the most. So last night i made a point of sitting with him, watching Tom and Jerry, untill he begged to go to beg.

Weve done no home work, no reading, i dont know how his day has been, i dont know how any ones day has been aside from my own!

Ive not left the house, for fear of not being about to finish the house work. Ive not spoken to anyone aside from a small comment on a facebook status to promote the fact im still alive. Ive sat down for no longer then about 15 minutes to re-energise for the next round. And as much as i know 'this is the way life is' i want to know how to enjoy it.

How do families of 7, 9 , 15, 18! Cope!

Its sad, Well for me anyway.

As a young teen, i never had 'boyfriends' i was very much one of the boys myself. I never had that 'dream of a family' feel to me.. i was content having a bundle of friends and just living life. I never craved a boyfriend or attention. I was just me. But now, after giving birth, Seeing my children roll, crawl, stand, walk, talk, laugh, play, jump, meet there siblings, grow to be best friends, play together, fight , make up and fall asleep on my lap. Though all the stress tear and sleep deprivation. If i had it my way, i would be pregnant again, yesterday.

But emotionally.. i dont think i have the support to do it. And thats what hurts.

5 and i were solo until he was 2 when the main man joined our team. Within a few months we were expecting. I went though every single emotion there was.

And ill be honest. I was happy, shocked, worried, guilty, sad, nervous, and sick (A mix of worry and horrendous all day 7 month dehydrating sickness). Miss 2, was a shock pregnancy. Wanted, but unexpected.
When we decided Master .7 would be a good idea it made me wonder why we should stop there? I loved my role as a mum. It was stressful at times, but seeing how far i had come with Master 5, from being this nonstop crying, non sleeping, refulxy, colicy, clingy baby to this 3 year old boy who had a heart of gold. Proved to me that life wouldn't always be a bumpy road.

I enjoyed my pregnancy with Master .7 aside from alot of pain, because i had a bit of freedom up my sleeve. Master 5 had started prep 5 days a week and Miss 3 was in daycare 3 days. I enjoyed finding myself again. Like i did when it was just me and 5 .

You lose yourself when your a mum. Your constantly trying to prove to others what you do is tough! Its not like yous looking after someone kids and at 5.15pm you can give them back and go out for dinner. As above, my day starts at 5am and finishes at 9pm. And then im on call.

Whether i get an hour lunch break, or nothing at all.. Im still working. I still have people to care for.

So, it brings me back to my question.. what brings you happiness?
How do i turn the stress of my day in to the highlight of my day?
How do we set a routine so we both have alone time, with not a single sound from anyone, but also have time together?

How do others have a happy lifestyle.. And why cant i find it..

Im screaming for help.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The rain is soothing.

90% of the time its sunny here on the Gold Coast. So my kids are always outside playing in the garden. When it rains, i adore the time we sit together, play, build blocks and today.. Attacked playdoh.

Master 5.5 is a teacher. he is constantly reminding Miss .23 to use her manners, pick her toys up, color in the lines and not to mix the playdoh colors.
She is , well, a hand full.

Purposely cheeky, dropping her toys, writing on walls and mixing the playdoh.
We laugh, so we dont cry.
She brightens our life.
When 5,5 is at prep, shes lonely. Master .7 is pretty boring if i do say so myself. Spending his days wondering how hes mobile spins on its own. Laughing at the shadows from flying birds and pulling .22's hair while she lays with him trying to make him do at least one trick.

So, days like today..when the only sound in our house is the pouring rain on the patio it was perfect for playdoh.
Perfect for being brother and sister.

I cant help but smile..

When i look at this...

Although, who can blame me.

For a small child, going through some huge life challenges at a sweet 7 months.
He has not a care in the world. He inspires me.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My thoughts..

My thoughts and heart are with the possible lost miners and there aching families.
Im praying with every i have, that there is still an inch of hope.

I wonder if ...

Photos like this will be highlights of her teen years.

If she will looks back when shes sewing her own clothes and toys and think, So,That's how it started.


Will she sew? Will she know how to thread a needle? Her whole childhood has very much so been around a sewing machine or needle and thread.

I wonder if she will sew.

It must be a girl thing...

I asked my friends on facestalk weather i should be re-evaluating my parenting skills..
What else can i do but laugh? If i don't laugh.. ill cry.

Master 5 was a gem, Ask anyone. We never child proofed anything! My house was mine, and he lived in it. He respected it.

But, Today i have realised there is no such this as child proofing my house for Miss 2. She will find away to trash, grab, throw and destroy everything in sight.

Miss 2 is very very full on. There isn't a moment where she is just still and resting.

But, when things are quiet, you know to prepair your self.

This mornings mishap...

Minty fresh!

(Oh, I should probably note.. The above, is chocolate moose..

Setting in the fridge for desert..)

My Sunday best..

Not happy about the fact her brother called her a 'Tiny little lier'

She attempted to blame the above on her brother...

"Jett did it!!"

While Master 26 and i were chowing down on pork crackling.. little did we know she was Re-bathing.

Anti-wrinkle cream *Sigh*


Ive tried so so hard to child proof my home. To surround her with lush toys, exciting books and 24/7 attention.. but i sit down to eat my crackers and cheese and WOLA this is what i get.

I wish i could hire someone to 1. come and seriously child proof my home and 2. teach me how to keep it that way.

I guess the upside is, its sudocream and powder..not knives and sissors.
Have to look at the positive, Right?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I AM A MINIMALIST! (So i tell myself)

Im actually the opposite.. Very much so. And i blame it on my NAN! Nan is a pom, and refuses to part with used tissues. Well, they may very well come in hand later that day..

So, My life mission, At 26 years old, living out of home for 9 years.. Is to break the habit i formed, say 24 years ago. Im not longer going to be a hoarder! (Yes, ive tryed this once before.. But this time i for real!)

My mum and i spent today cleaning out the house and garage sorting and throwing things out and putting sell able things away for our 'Driveway Sale' this weekend.

My trouble is i love a good bargain. Weather it be at a garage sale, Life line, 2nd hand shop or ebay.. Its on sale, Ill have it! Another habit i need to break. But hey, one thing at a time.

So, As motivation.. As SHAMEFULL as it is.. and the fact that this could possibly cause Shane to call off our wedding due to the embarrassment factor, i am going to post a photo of what WAS our garage.. Today, it no longer looks like this. Although its not photo worthy just yet as we have the garage sale stock in there.

Please, Harsh comment are only going to cause me to go to Kmart tonight to attend retail therapy. So be nice.. Motivate me!

x N

Monday, November 1, 2010

I really should blog more!

Wow! Reading over my past blogs is an eye opener. As the days go on, you seem to slowly forget the dramas that arise on your life journey. Looking back, It was and in some light, still is crazy town. Today is November 1st 2010. Im going to blog every day this month. Ive got a plan.. Im going to challenge Mr and myself to buy NOTHING other then our essentials. For 30 days. Starting right this second. If we need clothes, Ill make them. If we want food, we eat whats in the fridge, freezer and pantry. This means NO take away. NO shopping and NO impulse buying.

Will be hard.. But we can do it!

x N