About Me

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23 year old going on 50. I take my carry basket to the farmers markets every week and Avoid getting a tan at all costs. I also have lots of tattoos. Two beautiful children and a "Hubby". And an obsession with cooking - moving into a place that doesn't have an oven...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lazy Sundays

Last night I was sitting here reading food blogs (as one does on a saturday night) and I found the AMAZING thestonesoup
Her recipes look delicious, simple, healthy and quick to make. She even has 2 free ecookbooks in the archives. In particular, I want to make the Laksa from her first free ecookbook and the LAMB_CURRY. So with these in mind and some inspiration to be healthy, using locally grown produce, I headed off to the markets to do my groceries.
Remember the $50 budget I had? Today I tried sticking to it. I had $50 and some coins in my wallet. So I got:

From the markets. That's mushrooms, bananas, apples, caps, lettuce, onions, sweet potato, zuccini, squash, cucumber, broccoli and fresh basil. All for $25.00

Then I went to the supermarket. And got:

(And looking at that, I've just realised I've forgotten coconut cream for the Laksa)
Any way - We have Lamb, beef, cream, spinach leaves, laksa paste, tuna, salmon and noodles for $29.77
Plus a couple of dollars for the Coconut cream I will have to go back for (we're having the damn laksa!)
And there is my reason for deciding to become predominantly vegetarian. We've played with it in the past. We both (Pat and I) felt healthier. Pat didn't get so bloated and lethargic. But I usually revert to meat dishes because I have no inspiration or because it's easier. Looking at the price difference though, there really isn't any reason to make excuses.
So there you have it. We will probably still have a meat dish once or twice a week. Although, I am really looking forward to the Lamb and Spinach Curry that I linked earlier in the post (HERE it is again in case you missed it). It just looks so fresh and flavourful!
Let me know what you think of that site. And if you have any other favourite foodie blogs, please, send them my way. I have a lot of hours to kill and there is only so many brownies I can eat.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Pram is Here!

So, this is my new pram:

The Joovy Caboose Stand-on Tandem. And I must say, I'm really impressed. I'm a crazy person who saw this pram on the internet and thought it was really cool. I liked that I could put a capsule on it and I liked the concept of the older child being able to sit or stand on it, giving both you and them more freedom. I had no idea how big it was. I heard that it was compact. (I have a Toyota Corolla Hatch back so I hoped the reports where true). I heard that despite what it says on the website, the older child CAN sit while the capsule is in place.

So the first photo is to show you that it IS compact. Actually, all the photos show that. But this is as narrow as a capsule. No joke. It's narrower than my normal pram! Middle photo is with the capsule in place and Dex sit/standing on the seat/platform. And last photo is to show you just how little the pram actually is.

Things that impressed me that I didn't even know about? The front seat folds all the way back into a laying position (they need to update the website) and there is a 5 point harness for the child sitting on the toddler seat if you wish. AND it only cost me $360 including the caspule attachment. I think that's pretty darn impressive. (and no, I'm not getting paid for this advertising... I should be though!)

The other thing I want to show you is this:

I'm not sure if it looks as impressive as it tastes, but it tastes REALLY good. It is also fairly cheap to make. So, recipe time.

Garlic Buttered Roast Pumpkin and Bacon Pasta.
(very descriptive title)

1/2 Butternut pumpkin - small cubes
3 rashers bacon - diced
TBSP (?) Butter/margarine
tsp (?) minced garlic.
Prehead oven to 180 degrees celcius
Melt butter, add garlic.
Put pumpkin in to an oven safe dish. Drizzle butter all over and mix well so all pumpkin is covered.
Chuck it in the oven. Took me about 45 minutes to cook it.
About half way through (so 20 minutes-ish) Add bacon.
Stir around a couple of times throughout cooking time to make sure everything is garlic-ed and buttered.
Cook your desired amount of pasta (I used fettucine)
When pumpkin and bacon is cooked (pumpkin should be tender but not mushy) add pasta to the dish and mix everything together so pasta gets garlic buttered too.

Serve and enjoy =]

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Why hello 5:45am... You are no time for a toddler to be awake.

I have no idea what has gotten into Dex recently. His sleeps have been absolutely terrible. Nothing in his routine has changed, but he has been not going to bed until later (10 – 11) or going to bed normally (8) and then waking up at previously mentioned times and staying awake for an hour or so. If I just leave him, he head butts walls and the door and gives himself terrible bruises and works himself up terribly. Last night I thought we were going to be ok. Silly me should have known.

We stayed up and watched The Expendables and Easy A (which is hilarious, I might add) so we didn't get to bed until arounf12:30am. Hadn't heard a peep out of him, so I figured it was just a rough night. But no, guess who's up at 5:45am ready to rock and roll. It's days like this that make me wish I had enrolled him in day care already (which goes from 6:30am – 6:30pm if you choose) and I could just get him dressed, drop him off and he would be someone else's tornado for the day.

Does that make me a bad mother? Of course not. It makes me the same as every other mother who wishes she had extra sleep, because she recognises that lack of sleep makes her cranky and prone to snapping. But, I haven't enrolled him yet. So I guess its "Suck it up, princess!" for me today.

I have an antenatal meeting today too. First one since I spent the night in hospital. I'm actually wondering if she's stopped growing!

That is a picture of my tiny, tiny 29 week belly. I can't believe that I'm ¾ my way through the pregnancy and that's all I've got. Half the time people don't want to ask in case I tell them I'm just fat! I'm supposed to be at the stage where people are offering to carry my groceries for me! Not that anyone in Coffs Harbour is polite enough to do that, but anyway.

Pat is about to go away for a couple of days. He leaves tomorrow for Soundwave. I'm pretty jealous. I wish I was going so I could watch Social Distortion. BUT apparently pregnant women who have blood pressure issues shouldn't spend time in long lines in the sun. So instead, I'm playing single mum for the weekend. I'm only a little bitter, really. I want him to have a really good time. He never spends enough time or money on himself.

I should go eat or something. Before I fall asleep on the keyboard and the rest of my blog is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, February 20, 2011

One of THOSE Days

It's one of those days.

I feel tired, sick and heavy. Everything feels heavy. My legs, my arms, my head. The T.V. is doing a wonderful job at babysitting Dex (who now says both Shrek and Stitch, I might add).

But you know what? I've already got dinner on. Yep, I'm that kind of lazy. My lazy brain is preparing to be even more tired, exhausted and not bothered to do anything, that it's making dinner now. It's pretty clever, hey?

So we are having Tomato Pasta Sauce. Because I can't be bothered to make bolognaise. So the very simple, very cheap recipe goes like this:


½ large brown onion, finely diced

Tsp (? I guesstimate) of crushed garlic

400g tin diced tomatoes in tomato puree.

Butter/Margarine to cook in.

Melt butter in frypan, add onion and garlic and cook until it caramelises.

Add tinned tomato and let simmer for as long as you feel like. Probably check it every so often so it doesn't burn and stick to the bottom of the pan, leaving lazy you (me) to have to cook something ELSE for dinner.


If I had chopped up basil in my freezer like I usually do, I'd add some of that. If I could find the pepper, I'd add some of that too. It's a really good basic sauce that you can make SO many things from. You could even use it as a sauce for lasagne. And it's SO simple. *Found the pepper. Pat left it out on the bench.


Now I've just got to convince lazy me to clean the kitchen, otherwise I'll have to do it tomorrow =s


You know, I had planned to have Dex toilet trained by the time the Doll showed up. But with about 10ish weeks left, I just can't see it happening. He's just not as aware of himself as I think he needs to be. He loves sitting on the toilet, but rarely does anything on there anymore. He won't tell me when he's doing a poo or a wee, but he will pick up a clean nappy and try and put it on and say "poo". I just don't know. When he doesn't have a nappy on, he'll walk over to you and stare at you intently, then wee on your foot. Or the wall. Or the chair you're sitting on. It's as if he knows what he's doing, but can't be bothered to tell me.

He can say: sit, ta, please, up, dog, woof, car, truck, ball, bowl, more, mum, dad, stitch, Shrek, shut, door, out, ice, juice, flower, towel, cook, jump, bath, shower, tree, play, baby, kiss. That's what I remember. I'm sure there's more. He knows that play is something you do with your toys, but it's also a button you can press on the DVD player. He knows that you wipe with the toilet paper. I know he's smart enough to understand the concept of going to the toilet, but I just don't know if he can put the two together...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Letter to Dexter


You are almost 18 months old. I can't believe that I have had you for nearly a year and a half now. It seems like such a short time for someone to have become my entire life.

I can't imagine not having you. When I had you, and they first plopped you onto my chest, still mucky, all I could do was stare at you. Watch you curl your finger around my hand as if you knew who I was. You looked at me and it was as if you looked straight into my soul. I was completely amazing that I could have created something so perfect.

There was no other word for you. There still isn't. There are other words to describe your personality, but you? You are perfect. You light up my life. Your smile is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, the way it lights up your entire face. Your laugh is infectious and can chase the worst thoughts from my mind and the tears from my eyes. Your cries break my heart. I hate to hear them, but at the same time, I love knowing you are crying for me, because you want me.

You are such a clever little boy. You say so many words. We have just gotten a cat and you are convinced it's a Gog (dog). Everything with four legs is a "gog". You love them. You pat them, give them kisses and get so excited when you see any sort of animal. You also love "Ball". You get so excited when we go and see Nanna and Grandad at the bowling alley. You clap your little hands and climb up all the stairs by yourself.

You are so independent that sometimes it scares me. We have just turned your cot into a toddler bed and the other night when I checked on you in your sleep, you were laying on your stomach, sprawled across the bed, your head on the pillow, one arm under the pillow and the other hanging off the side of the bed. It was so easy to imagine you exactly like that in 15 years that it brought tears to my eyes.

You are going to have a little sister soon. You love babies as well. You have my old cabbage patch dolls and you pick them up and kiss them and make me kiss them too. You like to try and feed them Lego. You rub my tummy and say "Baby" in such an affectionate, gorgeous way. I know you are going to be a great big brother.

Things will change when your little sister comes along. But I want you to know, you will always be my baby boy. You will always be the one that started it all. Made me, me. Gave me a purpose, gave me someone to be. I love you with all my heart and I couldn't imagine my life without you.

I love you, a thousand times, I love you.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Grandnanna's Cooking.

I'm lucky enough to have known my Great Grandnanna. She died when I was 16. That's a lot longer than a lot of people get to know their great grandmother.

She was a beautiful lady with a passion for life. She was always up to something mischievious. We'd go on family holidays and she's sneak into our bedrooms when we were meant to be asleep and tell us jokes and we'd get in trouble. She'd tickle us in church. She was always having fun. We always had fun with her.

When she died, I remember my Dad coming in to my room to tell me. I'd never seen him cry before. Never. But he did that day.

I was lucky enough to get her recipe book when she died. She used to try and give you things when you went to her house. She would always ask what you wanted. I told her I wanted her recipe book, but not right now. It's amazing. It my Great Grandmother's recipes. With some of HER Grandmother's recipes in it.

It makes me feel special. Like I'm holding a bit of family history in my hands. (I AM holding a bit of family history in my hands, I know).
Now don't be fooled. There isn't only recipes in here. There is also "Helpful Hints for the Housewife"
Some of the hints are actually helpful.

Then, there is also article like This:

Who has that much linen? Who has room for that much linen? That much linen doesn't need it's own cupboard, it needs a bedroom with an ensuit to wash itself, because I sure as hell am not. Guests at my house can use the same towels as anyone else, thanks. I'll make sure they're clean and smell pretty and I'll try and give you the big ones. How does that sound?
But, the point of todays post is to give you a recipe. From the old days. Because nothing quite tastes the same as one of Nanna's recipes.

Cream Cheese Slice

2 packets lattice biscuits.
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz butter (I didn't say it would be healthy)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp gelatine, dissolved in a little boiling water.
Line lamington tray with foil (11x 7 - inches I'm assuming)
Place biscuits along the base.
Beat cream cheese and butter until combined thouroughly.
Add sugar, then add the other ingredients
Speard over biscuits and place remaining biscuits over top.
Ice with a THIN (underlined twice) lemon icing.

I'm feeling a little nostalgic today, so I think i'm going to make this. It's one of those things that tastes like home.

Something's Up.

Something is going to happen. Why? Because my house is clean. My bathroom has been cleaned, I've done two loads of washing today, I've baked muffins. Dinner is already cooked and THE DISHES ARE WASHED after it. As well as all the dishes I've used today. I've even got Rice Pudding baking in the oven! I've put away clothes that were hanging around deciding whether they were dirty or not, made beds, cleared up stuff that has been waiting for the baby to arrive, showered the child, fed said child and now he is asleep in bed.

What's so bad about all that? It's not me. I'm not that mother. I'm not organised. My house is usually a kerfuffle. We have too much stuff and nowhere to put it. And I HATE washing up. Which I have done twice today. Dexter hardly ever goes to sleep this early. I'm certainly never organised to have him bathed, feb and dressed ready to go to bed this early.

I'm sure you all think I'm being completely silly. BUT I think someone (the universe or whoever) is conspiring against me. Why? I feel like this is the calm before the storm.
A lot of you don't know (I didn't blog it) but last monday I spent the night in hospital. Contractions, a bit of a show - everything you want at 27 weeks. The good thing was, I wasn't officially in labour. The bad thing is, I was told to not do anything or I would end up in labour.
They let me go home the next day - they were PACKED! - with a script for Panadine Forte and strict orders to do nothing around the house. Or outside the house, or anything other than looking after Dex, really.
So that's why I'm worried.
I'm stressing, because I thought I had my hospital bag all packed, but guess what? It has no undies in it! How can it be a hospital bag with no undies? It also has no maternity pads OR breast pads. Super organised, hey.

So, that's my rant. Probably, nothing will happen. Maybe, something will. At least if it does, the house will be clean and everything will be organised. Except my underwear, of course.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Over did it a bit

Ok, so I spent a little too much on groceries the other day. BUT I only spent $100 which has been a lot better than my more recent efforts.

And I've been thinking... i don't know HOW I used to spend $200 a week on groceries. My cupboard has never been as full as it is now. I don't know where all that money was going. Really, I don't. I can spend $100 now and literally not have room for all my groceries in my fridge/freezer.
It's scary to think about all that money that I have no idea how I spent. I think we threw out SO much food instead of giving it to the dog or freezing it for later.
I'd buy expensive pre cut chicken stir fry strips instead of buying skin on chicken breast for $6.99 a kg (yup - at Leonards) and cutting it myself. It seriously takes 3 seconds to remove the skin and it's a whole $5 a kg CHEAPER to buy it with the skin on! I'd be afraid of buying home brand. The shame! What would the checkout person think?!? My guess is the only thing they are really thinking about is when their shift ends. Unless you buy a cucumber, some condoms and lube. BUT if that's what you're purchasing, you have no shame anyway so....
I would never dare look at the seconds trolley at the fruit store. I would buy enough capsicum (or any other fruit and veg) that I could throw out what I didn't use and cut open a new one for the next recipe!

Now I think about these things, I shudder. I can't believe I was that careless. NOW I made bolegnaise the day before shopping day and ALL veggies go into my sauce. I chop them up in my Turbo Chef (youtube it, they are amazing!) and it all goes into the dish. So much goodness not being wasted, so mch extra food on our plate! I usually make a quiche too and use leftover veggies in that.

But, in saying this, I know I still have a long way to go. For one, I have rarely succeeded in my $50 budget. For another, I still throw out too much food. Yep. I do. At least I recognise it now, but that doesn't really help me get it back. I'm actually really excited, Pat (the wonderful man he is) got his work bonus and told me to buy myself some Tupperware with it. To be specific, the modulars - because we've been talking about FINALLY organising our pantry for ages.
And I know I rant on about Tupperware, but only because it works. I had to throw out a container of dried Shitake mushrooms the other day because they were mouldy. That's depressing. I had flour with weevils - I'd used about a cup out of a 2kg bag. I have stale saladas, ice cream cones and biscuits.
This is why I can't wait to get my modulars. I want everything to be fresh. I want everything to be organised. I can't wait to see all those pretty containers (with their lifetime garentee) stacked and packed and labelled neatly into my cupboard. No, I do not have O.C.D. I just have a serious case of being sick of wastage.
I realise it may sound a little depressing, but think about how much food you throw out because it's a bit stale. Or it got left out over night because you couldn't be bothered to put it in the fridge. Or because you left it in the fridge instead of putting it in the freezer. It's just laziness that's costing us so much!

Ok, end rant. I made a really yummy soup/stew thing last night, because Pat is on the tail end of a cold so I figured I'd give him a healthy dose of good food to get rid of it.
Ingredients seem like a lot, however this filled a 4lt saucepan - so plenty of leftovers!

2 Carrots - thick chunks
2 potatos - cubed
1/2 butternut pumpkin - cubed
1 leek - cliced into rings.
6 mushrooms - halved then into thirds.
1 tin or corn
2 Chicken Breast - chunky cubes
3 rashers shoulder bacon - diced
2 cups pasta (I used macaroni)
1 lt vegie stock
1 lt water
Pepper to taste
Good amount of garlic (cold fighting)

Method -
Chuck everything into the pot except pasta and let it all simmer until everything is cooked and it smells delicious.
Add the pasta and Let it cook until the pasta is done.

And you're done =]

I'm sure this would go really well in a slow cooker too, and the meat would be interchangable or completely removable depending on finances/food preference.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Back to the Budget

I apologise.
I've been pretty slack lately.

I've had a lot going on (practically on bedrest or I'll go into labour) so things like grocery budgets haven't been the top most priority on my list.
BUT Because we'll definitely need a budget if she does decide to come early (contingency planning and all that jazz) I best get back into it.

So, I have the pram on layby - And I found a cheaper one on the internet and am NOT going to be afraid to ask the stroe to price match it. They have a store policy that cancelled laybys get the money they have paid credited as a store voucher, so I really have nothing to lose. I have a capsule on its way. I have enough MCN's (modern cloth nappies - if you don't use them, you should) to cover TWO newborns. She has a ridiculous amount of clothing. I'm not even kidding. She has more clothes than Dexter and I put together.

So really, all we need under control is our food shopping.

A good CHEAP recipe for you guys.

Box of frozen spinach (about 80c from Aldi)
10 Eggs
Splash of milk
2 sheets puff pastry
1/2 block ricotta/fetta/cream cheese (up to you really)

Line dish with sheet of pastry, fill in gaps with second sheet.
Whisk eggs, add as much milk as you normally would.
Add defrosted spinach and whichever cheesee you choose to the eggs and mix in
Pour into your dish and bake on 180 degrees celcius until it's cooked.

(will be solid... kind of like an omlette - you'll know when it's cooked and you can't really burn it...)

Enjoy =]

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Change is as good as a holiday?

I don't know who said this. But whoever did, obviously never holiday-ed with young children... To their in-laws.

I actually can't complain that much at all. We spent way less than I expected to spend, which is always a nice change. Dex spent a lot of time in the water - we all did, because it was too hot to be anywhere else. I got some really cool shoes, a top and some hair bows. Bought Pat some new shoes and a belt.

But I am exhausted. Mentally AND physically.
It is difficult when your in-laws have divorced and re-partnered. Sometimes, they get cranky and they say things about the ex partner that makes you feel awkward and you're left doing a nervous laguh and changing the subject. Sometimes they blame their ex-other half for traits they would prefer they didn't see in their children and grandchildren. And sometimes, it's just friggen annoying to have to divide your time between the two.

In saying that, I can't imagine Pat's parents still being together. Their new partners suit them down to a T and that makes for a good trip.
Dex had the shittiest sleeps ever over the last 4 nights, so mummy (a big pregnant mummy) is running on about 1/2 the usual hours of sleep.

Dex has started saying "Baby" and kissing or patting my tummy. It's pretty cute. I love that he is (kind of) understanding what is going on. I'm sure it will still be a bit of a shock when our little girl finally makes her appearance, but I think he'll do fine.

And to top it all off - FAIL DOCTORS SURGERY -
So, I'm on blood pressure medication because I had to be induced with Dex for borderline pre-eclampsia - so it's a little serious. Me, with my pregnant brain, forgot my medication. Thought to myelf, ok, I'll call monday morning (we went down sun arvo) "I'll miss 1 dose, that on't matter too much. Called 8:45am Monday - Spoke to receptionist. "Sure - Dr L doesn't like doing that, she'll rouse on you, but no problem." 11am, still no script - Call back "If the last time you saw her was 3 months a go, she might not do you a script, can you see a dr down there?" Me - No, everywhere is full. The script lasts 12 months, why would 3 months be an issue, she's my GP?
her " I'll pass it on". 3pm - Still nothing - Call back, Dr L is running behind, can't interrupt her while she's with patients (Even though I have been IN THE ROOM when she has had a call transferred through!) will pass it on. 4:45pm - Call back "Dr L is still behind, won't get to her messages until this evening or tomorrow morning" me "I can't wait that long!!! If I could, I wouldn't have called FOUR TIMES TODAY! I'm PREGNANT and on BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION for the health of my pregnancy!" Her "Ok, I'll pass it on."
Still haven't heard anything.

Just makes my blood boil. It could have been potentially dangerous to both myself AND my little incubating one and no one helped at all. Have a urine test on friday, so hopefully not being on meds for a few dayshasn't affected anything and there's no protien happening.

Ok, I've raged enough, time for some serious sleepage.

night night