Friday, December 16, 2011
I have resorted to what I call the 'cop out' of parenting...turning the TV on and leaving the child to be glued to it like a brainwashed robot.
Why you ask?
I is tired! and I have much to get through, and whilst I want my little guy to help me with all the fun stuff, the style of whinging that only comes from a nearly 2 year old is the very last thing I wish to experience today.
The weather is dreary, again, which makes standard housework even more unappealing. Who wants to hang washing out when it isn't sunny and beautiful outside?!
I have sneakily switched the channel to an animal doco, still enticing enough that the little person will let it capture his attention for a few minutes at a time (hello going to the toilet in peace!) but not enough to have him glued to it for the entire day.
Perhaps after his nap I will put my responsible parent cap back on and turn the TV off.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Went to major supermarket to complete the grocery shopping..........
visited the biscuit aisle for a major ingredient requirement............
THERE WERE NO MILK ARROWROOT BISCUITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
just plain unacceptable, surely the little people in the biscuit factories are churning more of these out than ever come mid November to ensure the nation is not in short supply of chocolate / rum balls come Christmas Day?
Shall be stalking all supermarkets within radius of home over the next two days to locate these imperative items!!
Friday, December 9, 2011
apricot muesli balls
a fruit cake (!)
and the very dapper choc brownie santa hats that have gone viral on the web this past week!
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
with technology what it is, working from home is now just as easy (read :: normal) as working in the office.
this means when the little people are sick, you don't go INTO work, but you still work.
juggle, juggle, juggle.
I wish I could juggle balls, blocks or firey sticks as well as I can juggle my time. It would be much more entertaining!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
We visit many local eating places with DH's sizable family (9 incl partners plus close family friends - normally ends up anywhere between 12 - 15ppl!) however it always turns into a reasonable difficult event with the little guy in a loud place, lots of people and so on and so forth.
Recently I mentioned to hubby we don't go out just the three of us - SO we did! We bought an online deal voucher for $29 that entitled us to a bread for entree, 2 main meals & a bottle of house wine at 4017 Bar & Grill @ Sandgate.
This is a 'pub' like I've not seen in a very long time, but in a good way. It comprises of a small public bar and a dining room.... and that's it.
There is no pokies, no TAB, no thumping loud music, no gawdy carpet and no awful lighting - dim here and there, starlight bright everywhere else.
I was impressed.
The service was prompt, friendly and very genuine much like you'd receive in a small town pub. The food was well priced and quite tasty. Not an extensive menu but for the peace & quiet I was very content.
We enjoyed a relaxed meal, hubby had a Wagyu beef burger ($14.50) and I had pasta carbonara ($17.50), the pasta was yummy, freshly made and a very generous serving. We ordered a kids meal ($8.50) of bangers & mash which was a huge thick sausage, mash and a selection of other vegies - a nice difference from many other places that skimp on the kids meal and you literally get bangers and a pile of mush.
For the first time in a long time I actually enjoyed that I wasn't cooking dinner and didn't have to clean up, AND we stopped at Macs on the way home for ice cream!!
Highly recommend a visit to 4017 Bar & Grill even with the family, for lunch or dinner if you're a local - probably not so exciting to travel from the other side of town JUST to eat there, but if you're around the Sandgate area, give it a whirl...
Monday, October 24, 2011
1 x vanilla cake mix - the no name 70c ones
3/4 cup melted butter
400g tin pie apples (that is the original recipe - I use fresh apples, about 5 good sized granny smiths, peel, quarter and par cook in the m'wave for about 4 mins, then cut in half again)
200g Sour Cream
add melted butter to cake mix and combine to form a dough - press dough into a rectangular lined baking dish. Bake in a preheated 180 degree oven for 15 mins
combine sour cream & apple and pour over the base, top with cinnamon - as much or as little as you please.
return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
cool in the fridge for a good couple of hours before removing from the dish and slicing - the longer it's in the fridge the better as it really needs to set.
I cut mine into squares for dessert or smaller rectangles for morning tea.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
just have to wait for the little guy to awake from his daytime slumber!
Friday, October 14, 2011
Two weekends ago off to Harvey Norman I went, thanks to their spectacular 50 months interest free deal - because I was sick to death of saving and waiting! and walked out with brand spanking Nikon D5100. I have taken approximately 500 photos since :)
Have I managed to capture what I see in an image - once or twice YES! I'd like to do it more often, but practice makes perfect. I see a lot of beauty and tranquility in the bushland that backs onto our home and I love the afternoon sun in our backyard, it is one of my favourite places in our home at that time of the day and this is one of the things I am trying to get INTO a shot to share with everyone. These are pretty close...
Monday, September 19, 2011
It's tough. REAL tough. Last fortnight I capped off 94 hours of work. How did I fit that in - AND everything else? The lord looking down on me only knows!
I have much to share, new recipes, new tricks and lots of stories, but unfortunately no time right now.
Leave with this - find an hour soon to do something you love. Go for walk, go to the beach and get your feet wet, bake cookies, pick up a book and read it. Just do something that makes your heart warm and lips smile.... you'll feel better for it.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
This fortnight I've beaten it AGAIN! By following my own little set of rules that I've previously shared with you...it looks something like this:
FIRST STOP :: Aldi - lots of snack food (more than I usually would) incl crackers, sweets, muesli bars etc, nappies and other grocery items...total $115.72
SECOND STOP :: Woolworths - just a few key items that were in their specials catalogue ... only one of them a necessity - the others are treats... total $28.45
THIRD STOP :: Butcher & Fruit and Veg - lots of meat, and a trolley full of fruit & veg...total $81.93
Now I do need to pay a visit to Coles for a few particular items (some on special, some not) and I estimate I'll spend about $50 there which includes some cleaning products...
Thats a grant total of $247.65........... that is $100 UNDER BUDGET.
YES this all works. How do I know? Because the proof is in the pudding... amongst all that grocery cost are also some extra fun stuff for the little guy (book, puzzle & a 4pk of truck socks)
Make your list and stick to it..... let me know if you see any results!!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I have certain grocery items that are just in the pantry - as I am sure we all do - sauce, dressing, mayo, plain crackers, pappadums, curry powder etc
Rather than try and remember what you need each week / fortnight - attach a piece of paper to your fridge or your cupboard and when you run out of something whilst cooking write it down. Make the list a permanent fixture in your kitchen so this tiny tiny task also becomes a fixture..
you'll no longer have 3 bottles of tomato sauce and no BBQ. French dressing but not italian, curry powder but not mustard powder and all types of pasta instead of 5 packets of fettucine!!!
Monday, August 15, 2011
So you don't have kids, you think that all this money & time saving stuff Mum's go on about doesn't apply to you... Well here's news, it can! There are also many OTHER tips for people who are time poor but with some disposable income....
*Buy your fruit & veg at the fruit shop and meat at the butcher, yep you'll save money but you'll get better quality too!
*Do your groceries online and have them delivered, when you're working full-time why waste your weekend at the supermarket?
*Hire a cleaner - once a week / fortnight / month. You might be surprised how affordable it is... And the time you gain is worth it, not to mention the lack of stress that can be associated with keeping house whilst working 40-50 hours a week.
*Learn to follow a recipe and create a yummy meal out of a good cookbook, you'll enjoy the task, the outcome and you might save a few bucks eating at home instead of heading out to the latest & greatest restaurant in town...
*On the flip side... Go out for breakfast often, it will warm your soul, follow it up with a trip to the markets / the city / the beach wherever you want.... Bottom line enjoy YOUR time for YOU!
See... Even with no kids all the same rules apply, use your time & your cash wisely and you'll feel better for it.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Pick up a pair of Bonds socks that have the non slip rubber stuff on the bottom and realise they are literally black with ants. Entirely covered.
Upon closer attention realise the rubber has been almost entirely eaten off! There are specks of blue all through the clean washing!
Never seen this before, and hopefully never again! YICK!!!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Having only a desktop PC I find that whilst I have much to share I often forget it by the time I get to my desk or simply run out of time... So if this works maybe you'll see more of mummadaze :)
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Did you know.. Gloria Jeans sells gift vouchers? YES they do! In $5 increments. Well I'll have 4 of those thank you very much.
Beautiful idea, thoughtful, practical and not another piece of junk to occupy space in your house that you probably won't use.
Way better than a scratchie too!
So the next time you buy a birthday card and are heading to the newsagency to stuff it full of scratchies consider a cup of coffee for your friend or family member instead :)
p.s. I prefer Zaraffa's coffee over anything else..and they do gift cards too - a pre-paid card of 10 of your favourite drinks :)
Sunday, August 7, 2011
when you're pregnant / a new mum somehow or other it becomes ingrained knowledge that Huggies are the one, the only, the best nappy for all children...and parents. this somehow leads to a division between huggies users and those that don't (oh my! you don't use huggies? I ONLY use huggies...) and I have witnessed this first hand in the real world....almost as if you don't use Huggies you're a second class parent.
WELL .... I used huggies & modern cloth nappies from the word go...and from the word go Huggies leaked. they leaked in Newborn, they leaked in Infant, Toddler & Walker.... i have had no less than 4 Huggies replacement packets left on my doorstep by their lovely courier people - they must deliver ALOT of nappies to unhappy parents. It definitely pays to complain.
However, having had it knocked into me that Huggies were the one & only I just didn't know where else to go next... we had tried Babylove and found them too plasticky so were shocked off every other brand also. But action was required, a week of wet throughs over night which resulted in my little man being soaked from his nipples to his knees (no exaggeration there) and enough was enough.
I had heard time & time again...Aldi does great nappies, try the Aldi nappies, Aldi, Aldi, Aldi....so I thought to hell with the one & only and everything in between I'll jump straight to one of the cheapest nappy options out there and see what happens...at $13.99 a packet that's not a big loss if they're useless...certainly cheaper than the $33 a box for huggies.
Lo & Behold....Huggies can jump.... these things are fantastic. We had a few leaks in the old style, but only two weeks after starting with Aldi nappies they changed their design and they seriously have not leaked since. Not overnight, not after a massive 5 hours of being out of the house and no nappy change. We have had slight dampness around legs after very big poo's and a 12 hour sleep but hey that's nothing right?
So whilst I don't knock Huggies as a brand, they are wonderful and every child is different, for us right now Aldi nappies are the bomb. And they're saving us squillions...well not quite but a lot less dosh is being used for nappy buying.
**I am not affiliated with any company mentioned. this is just my personal opinion and experience.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Seriously lacking in energy and motivation I sourced my meal plan inspiration from the butcher / fresh produce / my husband and whatever I already had in the pantry! For a change it was nice, although we did the Aldi stop too and without a list that was tough... I had a rough idea what I needed and a little adlib was okay too.
I have now produced my meal plan, albeit vague!
- beef strog
- chicken carbonara
- rissoles (could be hamburgers?)
- slow cooked lamb shanks
- chicken sausages & vegies
- honey mustard chicken
- sweet & sour chicken
- steak (with whatever takes my fancy... potato salad maybe?)
- marinated chicken wings & rice
tonight DH & I have no idea what we're eating for tea. Personally I'm leaning towards a scrumptious chocolate & cream cake roll paired with Aldi's delish deli sea salt chips....and for dessert a generous helping of sour lollies my loving sister left for me last weekend!
Friday, August 5, 2011
From Thursday family began to arrive and by Friday afternoon we were all here! That's 13 of us in total!!!
Time went by so fast, after two park trips, lots of naps, nappy changes, and a mountain of food it was Monday before I knew and half of my beautiful family had already left and the others were due to leave that day :(
The two little people got along brilliantly, and by geez when they're just a little bit older I think they'll get up to mischief whenever they're together.
Meal plan? what Meal plan? Any plans I had made at the beginning of the fortnight were quickly shoved out the window. Before everyone got here I was too busy planning their arrival to follow a plan...and after they left I was too buggered! So we've just pulled something together from what we have and now lo & behold it's bloody shopping day again!!!
I have my work cut out for me with no meal plan for the coming two weeks as yet and a pantry & fridge that need a good sorting out! But I will persevere and succeed!! Stay tuned for what I come up with!!
p.s. I can't decide who I want to win Masterchef...but boy I was really pleased when Kate beat Alana!!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Albeit it may not be a very true reflection as there are four days completely removed from the equation. But hey it makes the bank balance look good, and makes me feel like the extra work I put in is worth it!
A note on my satay from last night, it tasted pretty good - not very satayish but yummy just the same. when I told my sister what I'd put in it she yelled down the phone "WHAT! Where did you get THAT recipe?" response "my head..?" she then proceeded to give me a true Indonesian Satay recipe which she is going to write out for me on the weekend...then I shall share it!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Diced up the mostly defrosted chicken thigh and rummaged around for the ingredients that I assume go into a satay..now I say first attempt which isn't quite correct, I have attempted satay once before many many years ago but cannot remember the outcome...this and the fact I've never made it again probably mean it was bad...this one WILL be better...positive thinking always works.
- peanut butter...smooth (we don't do crunchy)
- cashews, they just happened to be in the cupboard, already opened and probably forgotten about. Figured they'll add some texture. Put them in the happy chopper then into the sauce.
- soy sauce - which I had to add more of at the end.
- a little sugar (masterchef has taught me it's all about balance..lots of soy means lots of salt so I added sugar!)
- dash of fish sauce
- two cloves of garlic...yes two because my garlic crusher tends to eat most of it!
- sliced an onion
- decided AGAINST adding chilli as Master 18months will be eating this too!
Was supposed to cook rice yesterday for fried rice and forgot, husband was going to do it this morning and forgot. So I'm going to cook it now and it will have about two hours in the fridge, she'll be right mate!
Bio Zet Laundry powder averages a retail price of $9.99 for a 1kg box at the supermarket
At Big W the every day the price is $37.98 for a 6kg tub - this equals $6.33kg - this is their EVERYDAY price...not a special.
So you can see that if you bought at Big W at any time you're paying less for the product. BUT checking the catalogues pays too because this week at Coles, a 1kg box is on special for $6!
For me this fortnight I've saved myself an extra .33c kg on laundry powder as I was going to head straight to Big W and buy the tub - but now I'll buy it at Coles instead :)
Saturday, July 23, 2011
> marinated chicken thigh (possible skewers) w/ fried rice
> chicken wraps
> home made hamburgers
> butter chicken with rice & pappadums
> crumbed chicken breast & stuffed potatoes
> Hubby's curry
> Steak & gravy w/ mash
> Potato & Cauliflower curry (this I've never cooked before so is likely to be made as a side or additional to what I'm already cooking!)
Now all the meat I'm using I already have, and as you can see we have lots of chicken & mince in the freezer! Also all of those meals are made from scratch, except the butter chicken - because we just love Patak's!!
Aside from a few key items like the wraps & buns I have most of what I need in the pantry already.
By cooking this way the bulk of my shopping budget is put towards fresh fruit & vegetables and staple items. This reduces your grocery bill in itself and frees up the cash so you can afford some of lifes pleasures like a nice cheese or chocolate.
Think back to what you ate when you were a kid, what your Mum / Dad / Grandparents / Caregiver cooked and start from there, you'll be surprised what you remember and how easy what they made is to replicate.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
The BIG one.
well the BIG one times four.
Toy Sales.... Big W, Kmart, Target, Myer.
They release their catalogues online as a sneak preview, deliver them to your letterboxes weeks before and then cram every bloody last nook & cranny of every store with toys...random toys, new toys, sparkly, shiny toys (and personally I think some that are left over from last year too)!!
In my opinion this is the PERFECT time to put on a layby, a large one, and pay it off for the next 6 months. They all offer NO DEPOSIT!! and store it until CHRISTMAS EVE!!
Now our little mr 18 months celebrates his birthday in January. Just a week and a half after Christmas. In theory that could put ALOT of strain on the wallet. But by shopping around the four major department stores, collecting the catalogues and then racing out like a crazed imbecile on the opening day.... it doesn't :)
This is our second year of doing this, last year it worked, and this year it will work too. We just pick up whatever we think he will like, dump it in the trolley, make sure it's on sale at the layby counter and then slowly pay it off over the 6 months. If, when I pay it off I no longer want the item - I return it! Easy.
So now the confession...this year I wasn't as organised as I'd wanted to be. Kmart & Big W got their catalogues out EARLY! and they were fantastic sales...in my head over the past two years these sales have always overlapped Target - by a few days at least... so I didn't act... I just waited for Target...and lo & behold missed the bloody sales at Kmart & Big W!!! fool!!!
Tonight we 'did' Target & Myer.. Myer finishes Sunday, and their sale is good - check it out if you haven't already, bargain of the Myer sale is the VTech laptop for half price - just $39 The Myer toy section was a mess and we were overrun with teenagers acting up as there was no staff member..but I just told them to shift a couple of metres down so I could look at Buzz Lightyear... they did :)
Target we thought was a little disappointing in comparison to last year but are unsure if it's the age group we were buying for this year or their sale! In any case we picked up the stuff we wanted to and some extras that we wouldn't have been able to afford had we left the shopping until the last minute...and bargain for the Target sale (for us!) is the Cars pop up play tent... so much fun for fifteen bucks!!** Can't wait to put all the Christmas gifts in that for Christmas morning!!
So that is pretty much us done for the bulk of it. There are a couple of 'little' items that we are going to keep an eye out for and add to the grandparents shopping list, as you do, but aside from that no stress! I even have my Christmas wrapping paper ready - buy it up big in the sales at the end of every year :)
**couldn't find a link for the Target site with the tent...but if it's $19.95 on Deals Direct WELL $15 at Target is freeaakin awesome!
It has put a dampener on organising my shopping trip for the weekend, cooking meals for my boys during the week and in general being on top of everything.
This means the last three menu items for this fortnight haven't gone to plan. Honey Mustard Chicken that was meant to be served with rice - so Fried Rice could be made - was had with beautiful curly pasta hmmmmmm tasted good with my sore throat!
Fried Rice is out the window now until Friday night. And the last menu item of lamb chops, vegies and pasta was replaced last night by KFC.... O_o .... :D
Now we don't do the takeaway thing very often at all and even rarer an occasion it is that we resort to KFC of all things, but I tell you what when it comes to takeaway that was value for money! 9 pieces of chicken, 9 nuggets, large gravy, four breadrolls and two large chips - $24.95. Plenty of food for 2 adults and one little guy (oh the shame of my under 2 year old eating nuggets!!) and leftover chicken for the husband's lunch!!! As a treat, you really can't go wrong and you'd easily feed possible another two children with what was there.
So, if you're sick, it's late and you're fortunate enough to be able to spare the $$ don't beat yourself about getting takeaway occasionally, it won't hurt.
Monday, July 18, 2011
- BBQ chicken broken down for sandwiches
- whole egg mayo (or any mayo you like the taste of)
- celery finely diced
- dill if you have it or chives
- sour cream
There are many age old theories and also plenty of new ones regarding how to save money with your groceries.
One that I have never applied nor followed is the art of making a meal plan and thus a shopping list....and then sticking to it.
For the last 2 - 3 months, that is exactly what I've done and by geez has it worked. Combining the meal plan and shopping list with some other tried and true shopping tricks I have kept my grocery budget and we have eaten beautiful, yummy food every day and every night.
This week for me is shopping week so as I complete each step I'll blog it and hopefully you'll see how it actually works. Before we begin, below are my KEY shopping tips to save money that I undertake every shop (for me this is fortnightly)... and because I'm all about sharing my personal grocery budget for a fortnight is $350 - this is for 2 adults (both working), 1 little boy (18 months old, still in nappies) and 2 little dogs. That figure is inclusive of nappies, wipes, dog food, meat, fruit & vegies and all our treats. We allow an extra $20 for a quick supermarket trip throughout the fortnight for additional milk / bread / treats (i.e. chocolate or ice cream!)
- Make a meal plan for your shopping period, include enough dinners for every night you'll be cooking.
- Shop from your pantry first e.g if you have a lot of mince leftover from a previous shop include meals with mince as the meat ingredient
- Go through the specials catalogue from your local major supermarkets and circle anything you need / want (for me these are Woolworths, Coles & Kmart)
- Take the time to buy those items that you need that are on special at each supermarket.
- Read the BIG W and Kmart catalogue if you receive them - they sell some grocery items in bulk
- Shop at ALDI for as much as you possibly can - if you're buying home brand at the other supermarkets, Aldi WILL be cheaper and 99% of the time tastes better
- Buy your meat from a butcher (bulk / budget if possible) and your fruit & vegetables from a fruit shop or market...YOU WILL SAVE $$$$$$ JUST BY DOING THIS ALONE
- Check Big W for their bulk items - dishwasher tablets, toilet paper and washing powder, be familiar with their prices. These items work out cheaper everyday than buying smaller amounts at the supermarkets.
Once I have created my meal plan for the coming fortnight I will post it so you can see how it works!
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Eat to keep up your strength
Make time for yourself
Have someone else feed the baby so you can have a break
You hear all of that and more when you're a new Mum, all of it with good intention however it often seems like hounding and honestly how many of us heed it?
It all comes down to this... Be Kind to Yourself.
Recently I have learnt from a medical professional how important it is to be kind to yourself. If you are not then you will suffer for it. Maybe not straight away, maybe not in a dramatic way but you will feel it.
You may feel depressed, anxious, cranky. You may put on weight, your skin my appear dull & listless. No doubt you will be tired to the point of exhaustion. And you will say to yourself and others... I'm just tired, you know having a baby is tiring...or any excuse along those lines.
Be Kind To Yourself and you WILL feel better.
- Get some sun - just 10 minutes in the morning before it gets too hot. Have your cup of tea on the grass in the backyard while the kids run around. I promise you it won't hurt and you won't ruin your day's schedule.
- Have a nap when the baby does, lay in bed for an extra 10 mins in the morning or go to bed a bit earlier at night. This won't hurt you or your little one - if they're not hysterically screaming the house down, take advantage of it! They're safe in their cot or their room if it has a gate on the door right? So have your shower in peace or make your cup of tea BEFORE you get them up!
- Eat well. We ALL know what it's like to hoover your food because you have children to feed / bathe or they won't stop screaming long enough for you to eat. That's fine. Just make sure you eat and you eat well. Enjoy your food, rekindle your love of cooking your favourite meal. And supper doesn't hurt either. A cup of herbal tea and a bikkie will do wonders for your soul at the end of a long day... and it's another 5 minutes you're treating yourself.
- Make time for yourself. You know those moments when it feels like you're being blasted on all sides and you feel like your head is going to blow off or you lash out at whoever is closest? Take a deep breath and walk away. Go into your bedroom, the bathroom, the toilet. And BREATH. Take time to breath. Take the time to 'smell the roses'. There is no rush.
- Lastly.... the dirt can wait. As in the housework will be there when you get home / get up from your nap / finish your cup of tea. Does it REALLY matter if you haven't cleaned every last nook and cranny of the house? nope. Is your kitchen & your toilet clean, your beds made and the house is tidy? That'll do it. Break all your other housework up into manageable pieces so you don't feel overwhelmed. Vacuum the dining room one day, the lounge the next.
Be Kind To Yourself...
Friday, July 15, 2011
Today is the day Mumma Daze begins.
Well not truly, as the daze of motherhood for me began on the 8th January 2010. But this is where I will begin to share with other Mums or anyone who is interested in reading, my ups, downs, sideways and diagonal traipses through what is the daze of being a Mumma.
In this blog you will see..
· random thoughts that may or may not relate to children
· the rants and vents of a mother at the end of her tether
· reviews of ‘products’ that I love or hate…and if I hate them you’ll know it
· my hints and tips on saving money in your grocery (and other) shopping…because as you’ll come to learn.. I love a bargain
· recipes that I’ve tried, tested, probably failed, then tried again and again
· you will also hopefully, quite plainly, see the adoring love I have of being a working housewife and a mother to one precious little boy
so, enjoy, relax, provide feedback, stay a quiet follower, join in… I’ll be here J