Friday, September 27, 2013

Op Shopping - Cooper by Trelise

Got myself a treasure today.  100% silk cami top by Trelise Cooper.  $6.  Thank you Salvation Army.  Doesn't look too much on the hanger, but I love it on.  Yay.

Also picked up a rather PVC looking handbag (because it is PVC and rather squeaky) but I like it.

Margaret Mahy for the kids and a Christmas book to add into our Christmas Book Advent Calendar.  .50c each.

And an embroidery hoop for $1.50 which will become a feature soon in my new sewing room/office - (eeekkk exciting!!).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Macadamia Blackberry Jam Drops

I made the kids a treat today.  Big news in our house because I have not been baking at all lately. These are delish and any type of jam or curd can be used.

125g softened butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Blackberry Jam (or jam or your choice)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Beat butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the egg and beat until combined, then stir in flour, baking powder and macadamia nuts.

Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and place 4cm apart on prepared oven trays.  Flatten each ball slightly with your fingers and then gently make a 1cm indent in the top of each biscuit to form a hollow.

Fill each hollow with approx 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until biscuits are light golden.  Cool biscuits on trays.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Clothes Obsessed 2 Year Old

The Girl, at 2 and a half, is totally obsessed with changing her clothes as much as possible throughout the day.  I am sure I am not the only mother of a 2 or 3 year old girl (oh gosh, at what age does this actually end?) who is constantly being surprised by random outfit changes, putting clothes back in drawers, following clothing trails through the house and having overflowing washing baskets of semi clean clothes.  

I decided to photo stalk her today to see just how many different outfits she changed into.  I missed the first two changes as it was much to early in the morning for me to be using a camera.  But she came out first in the below dress.

She was upstairs with Dad for a bit, and obviously got into my shoes ... she discarded the dress and shoes for her green ballerina outfit.  Which was dumped not long after.  Check out the clothing chaos! 

She then quickly went through three outfit changes - this was all before 9.30am ...

She lasted in the yellow skirt and Dora top until about 1pm, where she changed into this dress.

She was soon heading back up to her bedroom and I chased her with the camera, to find her doing this .. (she may of been hamming it up just for me - funny regardless)

Thankfully she decided the pants were better off her head and where they should be.

Tada!  And of course I soon found her changed and semi naked yet again ...

The rest of the afternoon went something like this ...

She ate dinner in her bug suit, and happily popped on her pajamas after her bath and quickly sunk into a deep sleep.  Obviously exhausted from her 11 clothing changes of the day!!  

Secretly I love seeing her express herself through her clothing choices and having fun seeing what she can put together.  I often take her out in some rather interesting looking outfits.  The hubby has asked me a few times if I am seriously going out with her dressed like that.  Of course!  She is happy in her choice so why not.  

Hopefully she'll wear out of this by the time she is a teenager... what are my chances?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Crazy Pancake Morning

We love pancakes in our house.  Our favourite recipe is this Banana Fritter Recipe from Quirky Cooking.

But then sometimes we go a little crazy, make a traditional pancake batter base and the kids get to choose what colour pancake they get.  I use my gel colours to try and minimise the food colour madness effects on Danger Mouse (as I use less gel than normal liquid colouring) but it never seems to make difference on him, he still goes mad.

Danger Mouse picked blue today.

The Girl went for pink.

And Sprat went for orange.

Now the food colouring craziness begins.  I just gave them a bag of tangelos and lemons and they are squeezing their own juice.  Love my crazy kids.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The 5pm Messy House Panic Solution

I revealed to some friends today a few tricks I have at keeping my house looking clean for when the hubby comes home from work.  I hate the house looking like a complete tip for when he arrives home, and if it does look like a tip, I feel guilty.  Silly really, because its not like I sit around blogging all day and not doing housework ....

Now, I DO NOT keep my house show home spotless at all.  Some days its a total tip and it even scares me.  But if we've had a busy day and the house is out of control (everyday really, lets be honest), there are a few little things I do before the hubby comes home to quickly clean it up and make it a bit more welcoming and less like it needs to be condemned.  

1)  So I've at least managed to get the washing in, but its in a big pile, unfolded in the corner.  I sweep it up and stuff it in the dryer.  Big messy pile out of sight and I get it back out and fold it the next morning after he has gone to work.  Or I find it a week later after The Girl has run out of clean underwear and is crying about having to wear her brothers underwear.

2) The kids usually discard clothes, school bags, shoes, toys and random bits of food from one end of the house to the other.  If I haven't managed to clean it up as we go, or had the kids clean it up as they go (how impossible is that) then I grab my now empty washing basket, sweep from one end of the house to the other, picking it all up and stuff it somewhere the hubby won't see it (the linen cupboard is pretty good).  Spotless.  And then I sort it out the next day when he has gone to work.

3) I often forget to turn on the dishwasher once it is full.  I rinse and stack the dishes on the bench, still forget to turn the dishwasher on, and before I know it its 5pm and I can't see out the kitchen window for the tower of dirty plates and sea of plastic cups.  No worries.  Turn the dishwasher on.  Fill up the sink with hot soapy water and dump the dishes in the sink.  Wipe down the benches.  Kitchen looks spotless, aside from the bubble sink.  Then when the dishwasher is finished you can just reload and the bench top is still clear.

4) Another kitchen shortcut I do is the after dinner clean up.  If I am particularly tired, I stash the roasting trays/saucepans etc back into the oven and clean them in the morning, when, you guessed it, the hubby has gone to work.  See a theme forming here.

5) And my last little tip is something I do first thing in the morning, before going around and finding all the stuff I have stashed the day before.  I try to always make the beds, or get the kids to make their own beds.  The bedrooms can be vast waste grounds of discarded toys, but always seem to look better with a made bed.

I draw the line at putting on makeup and doing my hair before he walks in the door though.  He'd really wonder what I was up to then.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Op Shopping - Family Board Games

I love spending a lazy afternoon playing board games.  Especially while on holiday.  I buy board games with the full intention of taking them to the bach and leaving them there ... but they never make it.

I have memories of playing Sea Battle with my brother - I hope my boys can learn to play it together.  Boggle was $2.50 and Sea Battle was $4.

The Game of Life - the hubby and I have already had a night of playing this ... he won each time

Books out of the .50c bin

New puzzles.  I think these were $2 each.

A Speed Racer costume for Danger Mouse - $4.50.  The Evil Kineval helmet was his already.

And a top for me from Max.  This is really flattering on - $6.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pom Pom Flowers

What is it about a simple pom pom that evokes such happiness?

I made these pom poms a few weeks before we shifted and I am so happy they have come out of hiding and are being displayed in the house.  I think I need some for every room.

Leonie at Kiwi At Heart posted a great tutorial this week on how to make your own Pom Pom Flowers.

I need more.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Celebrating a Year of a New Me

This month I am celebrating a year since I started to slowly take back some control over my body. And not just by ridding myself of some excess weight.

In the first and third photo above I was not a very well person.  I had an A4 list long of symptoms, was struggling to do the bare minimum just to get through the day, discovered I had Endometriosis (which I suspected for years but never did anything about) and had an operation to have that removed, was seeing a Rheumotologist as was showing a heap of signs, including some positive testing, for a chronic inflammatory disease and was pretty much a wreck, mentally and physically. I was hitting brick walls in getting any kind of real diagnosis from anyone and was living in total complete frustration at my inability to even get through a day with an ounce of energy.

When I decided to embark on a 12 Week Spring into Summer Challenge with Stacey Hancock, I thought it would either make me or break me.  If I had to be honest, I thought it would break me and I questioned if I was doing the right thing.  But I also felt I had nothing to loose though, nothing else seemed to be working and I figured I couldn't feel any worse than what I already did.

It was hard.  I stuck to my eating plan 100%.  I struggled for the first 6 - 7 weeks with the exercise 5 times a week, but I did it.  I hurt.  I was lethargic.  I was detoxing.  I felt gross.  It sucked.  I was loosing weight, but I wasn't feeling better.

Then at around the 8 week mark I started to spark.  I was cleaning my body of sugar, my aches and pains started to improve.  I was waking up in the morning and my fingers and joints were not as swollen, the daily nausea started to disappear and all my little symptoms started to improve.

At 12 weeks I won the challenge.  But I didn't stop there.  I was getting, and listening to advice from Stacey Hancock  Not just a PT, so so much more.  Check out her website.  She is amazing and I would not hesitate to recommend her.

By Christmas last year I was really starting to feel pretty great.  I still had bad days - but now I was having only one bad day every few weeks or so, as opposed to one good day a month.

I had really started to listen to my body.  I continued to eat as clean as possible, trying not to put anything processed into my body.

I learnt not to eat anything from the deadly nightshade family as it inflamed my joints.  I learnt how sugar was attacking my body and most of my symptoms were probably caused by this - removed sugar and after a few months my body started praising me.  I learnt my body is not particularly fond of wheat.  I learnt that the constant colds and sicknesses I kept getting, despite feeling really well in between bouts of illness, was my body protesting against all the intolerance's I had been ignoring or was unaware of, and my gut was telling me it needed some attention.

In the course of a year, I feel I know my body now more than I ever have.  But I am not completely there yet.  I know I could do with healing my gut.  I want to start introducing more fermented foods into my diet.  There are things I need to improve on, tweak and a heap more to learn.

I did have a moment of stupidness about 5 months ago.  I tested to see if taking all this stuff out was what was actually making a difference, or whether I had just recovered from whatever it was I had.  I reintroduced a lot of my 'triggers' back in.  I soon felt awful.  Joints started aching, lots of symptoms started reappearing, I gained 5kg and I bloated. I also caught Pneumonia.

So I went back to clean eating again.  3 months later I am starting to feel great again.  Yup, its taken that long to start feeling energised again.  Last week, after shifting house, I ate bread for lunch every day of the week.  By day 6 I woke up with joints aching.  I am a slow learner sometimes.  And a silly learner.  My lungs are still healing from the Pneumonia.  I can't run outside when its really cold as they protest way too much, and some days they just don't seem to want to work while exercising at all.  Silly me trying to prove something to myself that I knew deep down - that yes, taking away these things was what was making me better.  But I am not dwelling on it.  If anything its made me more determined to be stronger in my learning journey about my body.

I believe it is food.  I might be wrong.  But I don't think so.  I tested negative in my last lot of bloods for everything I had previously been testing positive for.

Confession time here.  I still like chocolate though and have the odd takeaway (cringe - those hardcore out there will be shaking their heads at me and calling me a fraud.  No offense but that's your deal.  I'm happy and know the consequences of what I put into my mouth).  I sometimes allow myself 'treats' a bit more than what I probably should, but overtime I have learnt some great recipes for clean treats to deal with my love of all things sweet.  And when I don't want a clean treat, I just eat that chocolate, and I enjoy it.  And if I feel a bit awful the next day, I know why, and I continue with clean eating.  I am not perfect.  But what is important is that I feel alive now. What is important is that I feel I am well down my road to recovery but am aware there are still more roads to take.  What is important is that when I am true to what my body actually needs I don't constantly get sick.  What is important is I realise I can't fix this overnight.

I am LOVING where I am now.  I am happy with my eating.  I am happy with my body.  I am loving being well.  Happy One Year "Getting Back Life" to me.