Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Let's go SHOPPING!

Over the last few weeks I have grabbed a few bargains!
Last week I picked up these very cute flanellete cot sheet sets from Best and Less!
They were sooo expensive at $12 a set!!!

At that price I grabbed two sets!!!
Each year at Kindy and Childcare they request children to send in a sheet/blanket set for rest time.
The (very uncomfortable) stretcher type "Kindy" beds are usually sized so that a cot sheet set is a perfect fit!
This year I have sent Master O with a cot flannellete sheet set (fitted and flat sheet) and have recieved rave reviews!  They are a little bit thicker than your ususal sheets so give the bed a little more padding.  They are also so lovley and soft to lie on and under and the flat sheet provieds a little extra warmth in the airconditiong!

At childcare I bought a wonderful "Kindy Kamper" but this year they requested children to just have a small sheet set that could fit into a small bag.  A small bag???  EASY!  Just use the cot sets pillowcase!!  Add a little ribbon drawstring and you have a goregous matching set!!!
I have now put one away for Little Miss A!!!

Remember last week I was on a mission to find a Little Black Dress for under $50?? I needed somehting new for a night out with the girls! Well I did even better than that!  I got a dress ($35) AND belt ($15) for $50!! So drum roll.....the first photo of me on the blog???......Here it is...
Ok so excuse the cropped, out of focus photo but you get the idea!
It has a lovely little chiffon neckline and a sweetheart shaped bodice,
and I loved that it covered my knobbly knees!
It was on sale at Target!
The belt was from a little local accessories store love it!

Master O's labels for his lunchbox have been coming off so it was time for some new ones!
I did a LOT of research...
I have used many Australian based label companies and they are great but I wanted something different!
and I found....

Name Bubbles is an American company but they ship to Australia and are so affordable

This is the pack I got for Master O.
I loved that they had a second line of text on some labels for his class!
He is still in KIndy but had Prep printed on them for next year!
They are laminated labels so are laundry, dishwasher, bug spray, sunscreen SAFE!
So I can put these lables on his socks, shoes, clothes, hat, lunchbox, cutlery, drinkbottles, books
and for an extra $2 I even got a dogtag plastic label for his bag that matches the set!

But wait there's more.....
and maybe even my LIFETIME........
Happy Birthday to me!!!
Look what arrived literally on my Birthday!
(Can you spot the little hand helping me open it?)

and here it is, my very own
"Becky Higgins Project Life Kit"
It is a beautiful "Scrapbooking" style, photo album kit that actually does not require any scrapbooking!  
You just slip your photos into the pages sleeves and add the pre cut journalling cards, date cards and filler cards!
My dining table now looks like this after the kids have gone bed!

Would you believe in two nights I now have our FIRST family photo album!!!
I have put in all of our photos from January 2011 to now!
I still have to journal, but I have PHOTOS in an ALBUM!!!!
This has changed OUR lives!
Literally!  We now have memories captured and preserved.
It is so easy, so beautiful, the answer to my photo problems! I can not sing its praises high enough and will be eternally grateful to 
Katrina from The Organised Housewife and
for introducing me to it..
I am now saving to buy multiple kits at the end of the year to catch up on 4 years of photos!!

So thats it, we may have been sick, but that is no excuse to stop shopping!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dreaming in my closet....Sunday at the park.


Ok so ignore the prices and the fact that most of these exact items are not available in Australia, BUT
Who doesn't have jeans!  Throw on a bright cardigan and some contrasting accessories AND!
ready for todays festival in the park!!!

I love using these websites for outfit inspiration so much easier to make some "smart" wardrobe choices when you can see what can work together!

What are you wearing today?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sip and Snack Station

Their is a thief amongst us.
Lately things have been going missing.
Biscuits, chips, red frogs, chocolates.
At first I blamed "Domesticated Dad" thinking he was overindulging on midnight snacks.
But it was not......
It was "My Pigeon Pair"
The constant crumbs appearing in the strangest corners of the house should have been a clue!
They have been conspiring against me to "steal" whole packets! 
This is not the only problem!

Master O has also become quite adept at at convincing Daddy that he is aloud to have more treats after I have said No!!!

So we have devised a solution.
I have placed all snacks out of their reach.
They now each receive a snack "ration" each day.
I place the amount of snacks I want them to eat in a day, in a small plastic container each morning.
Master O thinks this is great!  It is up to him if he eats them all at once or gradually over a morning.
Naturally Little Miss A doesn't understand the concept but just loves doing everything her brother does.
We are now all on the same page as to who can eat what and how much!
I have placed them in a container similar to my Winter station but this time within their reach. 
 It also holds their drink bottles.

The Sip and Snack Station

Yesterday, Little Miss A had a vomitting episode and I had to rush off to the doctor.
It was so good to be able to simply grab the contents of this station and throw it in my bag knowing they would have water and snacks regardless of how long I would be out for.
And the bean bag?  Well we have been trying to teach Little Miss A to sit down when she has a drink!
Having the bean bag chair right by the drink has encouraged her to do just that!

Do you have a snack thief at your place?


Monday, May 23, 2011

Whats for Dinner? - Meal Planning - with FREE PRINTABLE - Week 4'

This is our last official "Printable" Meal Plan!

I figure we now have 4 weeks worth of meal plans and from now on we can just mix and match!
This week was the easiest one yet!  We are going to be out two nights this week and what a difference this makes!

Chicken Parmigiana
I actually sat down and worked out the cost of this meal and it worked out cheaper to buy the Chicken Schnitzels Crumbed ready to go, compared to buying breast/thigh fillets and crumbing them yourself!!
Such an easy meal loved by everyone!  You can try so many different toppings!  We are going with the standard tomato and cheese but you could add ham, bacon, pineapple, whatever takes your fancy!

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
This is a very easy meal if you use fresh pasta sheets instead of cannelloni tubes.
You just place some of your mixture on the past sheet, roll and place in your baking dish.
No icing bags or tricky filling of tubes!

Up to Hubby!
It's my Birthday so I AM NOT COOKING!

Lamb Chops
We love Lamb chops!  Especially the ones with the round bone in the middle!

Quiche Lorraine with grilled Mediterranean Veggies
Such a classic recipe.  Really you can add whatever you want to the standard filling!
I always make double the quantity and make some mini ones as well for lunches!

Fend for themselves I am going out with the girls!

BBQ!  Fingers crossed for some good weather!  It has been ages since we have had a good steak!

So that's it for this week!
Remember just click the link, download and print!

Today I am off on a mission to find a new outfit for under $50 for Saturday night!
I am up to the challenge. 
Hmm little black dress? 
Something non-mummsy
If I survive the expedition of clothes shopping with a baby in tow I will return to tell you about my discoveries!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

and heads will roll......

See this picture?
Notice something?
No it's not the lovely photo of me with Master O
and it's not that this shelf really needs dusting,
look closer.....
It's the angel, thats right, the decapitated one.

It happened during an evening game of 
"Battle of the Blankets"
During this game Master O and Little Miss A wrestle with Master O's blanket 
pulling on its ends, in tug of war fashion.
Oh boy can Little Miss A put up a fight!
She may be little but she is stubborn and 
will pull on Master O's blanket with a strength that defies belief.

Suddenly she lets go.
The blanket flicks back.
Master O falls backwards hitting the wall unit.
I could see this coming.....

No tears....yet.
No one appears hurt.
Master O yells
 "I'm sorry" and starts crying.
I know it must be a broken statue.
We have lost arms, legs and wings.
Casualties in a daily battle of indoor soccer, chasey, hide and seek and tripping over ones own feet.
But this time the aftermath is bloody.
It's a head.

This poor angel could not have seen it coming.
Literally, she has no eyes.
With Master O's sorry tears, Little Miss A begins to cry in unison.
A few hugs, condolences and promises of daddy getting out the super glue, and the situation appears resolved.  
We will restore her to her former beauty.
Her hair has been left cut short, with half on her head and the rest cascading on her shoulders.
"Just like Rapunzel" Master O tells us.
We return from "operation find the super glue" but.....
the head is gone.

Master O swears it was just there.
We look behind the wall unit.
We look under the cushions.
Behind the photo frame?
She is gone, well at least her head is.

It's late.  The evenings incident has put us way behind schedule.  Bed time routines begin.
Prayers are said, including one for our injured angel.
I put little Miss A to bed.
I walk out and start the evenings blog update when I hear.....
Well baby talking.  
Its a soft, high pitched, loving whisper, normally reserved for her dolls and teddies.
I peek into Little Miss A's bed and find....

Two chubby hands cradling an angels head.
She is talking to her.
Stroking her hair.
Poking the spot where the eyes should be.
Oh how I would pay a million dollars to know what she is saying to her.
Is it words of sympathy and condolence?
Is she saying sorry?
Is she just making small talk?

I  disturb the conversation for a minute to record the memory
but she continues.  This isn't just a quick chat.  It's a conversation.

I wait until she is asleep, 
sneak in and carefully take the angels head from its new resting place beside Little Miss A's head.
My little angel had found an angel of her own.
To care for, protect and confide in.
She lovingly held it,  seemingly unaware of its imperfections, its broken frame.
Perhaps we will leave the glue for now.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm grateful for....Being sick

The weather in our part of the world seems to change from Summer to Winter in one week.  We literally have 7 days of so called "Autumn" in which you marvel in the warm days, clear skies and crisp air and then 
out come the socks, heaters and Strepsils.  

Every year as the summer sun fades, the winter air brings with it the dreaded "Teacher Flu".  The lost voice, scrtchy throat and thumping sinuses.
This is one of the unfortunate side effects of holding hands with a 5 year old that has probably just blown their nose on it or tying up the shoelaces of someone who has just walked through the toilets. (It truly happens)  However it happens, I am sure it has nothing to do, with the fact that I probably yell talk too much. 

At this point in my life you think I would just, suck it up, take some meds and get over it?
But here lies the problem.  
For the past few years, being pregnant or breastfeeding has meant that I have not been able to take most cold and flu tablets!!!!

So this is where the confessions start....
Little Miss A is fourteen months and still breastfed.
She still wakes 4-5 times a night.
and what do I do? I get up and feed her.
That's right I am a BAD mummy.
I have tried self settling/controlled crying/ignoring the screaming baby, 
but it is just so much easier to get up, feed her and put her back to bed.
We have a few times managed to do it for a whole night, but the following night we fall so easily into bad habits and the wake and feed routine continues.

Until now......

I am a wreck.
I am beyond tired.
I am sick.
I am desperate.

The poor pharmacist who had to face my haggard pleas for something, anything to silence my pounding sinuses.  
So with a little packet of hope firmly in my hands,  I left,  on her advice that I would "simply" take the miracle workers straight after feeding Little Miss A.  
Put the baby to bed.  
Don't feed her again until the morning. 

Sure.  Simple.

So here we go.  Feed.  Tablet.  Bed.  
Like clockwork,  she woke at 10.30pm and cried. 
Doesn't she know that tonight things have to be different?

Well cried really isn't the right word. She screamed.  I lay in bed feeling guilty.  How could I do this.  Ignore her, putting myself first.  I can't feed her, I have just taken the drugs, what was I thinking! Surely the neighbours will call the police?  What if she is hurt, or scared?Then silence.  I looked at the clock.  It had been a whole 4 minutes. 
4 minutes. It felt like 20, at least.  She was asleep. 

12.30am we do it again.  But this time not so loud.  More of a whinge.  But its worse.  Much worse.  It sounds like she is saying Mumma.  I am sure she is calling me.  She knows exactly what she is doing.  Is it possible that a one year old can manipulate their mother? The cry is persistent, unwavering.  After four minutes, I go and stand at her door and.....she stops.  
She is asleep.

I tiptoe back to bed and sleep.  I sleep, like I have not slept in years.  The drugs have kicked in.  But its more than that.  I have a silent satisfaction that I did it.  I let her "self settle" and she did it!!!  

I wake....it is 6.30am. 
WHAT! 6.30am!  This is a miracle!  
I have not had this many hours of uninterrupted sleep in at least 3 years.  
I wake in my own time.  Not because her calls have woken me.
I am up AFTER sunrise.  Considering, how I felt the day before, I feel GREAT!  

I may be sick but I am NOT TIRED!

Without being sick I would not have taken the drugs.  
Without the drugs I wouldn't have had the motivation to "really" ignore her.  
Without trying to teach her to self settle, would I have had just another night of broken sleep.

Four nights later, we barely hear a peep all night.
It may be a fluke.
Tonight may be different.
I am not touching wood, because it doesn't matter.
For these few nights we did it.
She did it.
We know it can happen.

So this week I am grateful for the "Teacher Flu", grateful for being sick, grateful for miracles in small child proof packets, and the hpoe they brought in the form of sleep but most of all, grateful that I finally had the willpower to teach my daughter something she had to learn for herself.


Linking up to

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ready, Set, Organise!

Oh what a week!  I am happy to say, between being sick, evening meetings and organising Kindy fundraisers, we have made some progress on our "Organisation Station"!!! 
 not as much as I would have liked!  But here it is.....

 I had these folders from Woolworths!

added some scrapbook paper, to suit my decor and.....
Now we have these
For bills,  filing and mail

We had this little beauty

so practical but looking a little worse for wear,
a very quick "shabby" paint job and......
here she is...our "Errands Station" ready for use!!!

Put it all together and what do you get....
Our very practical
Pens, Markers etc, the camera, notebooks and another little nook.
Our filing folders
Our Family Note Book - important info and numbers
Clipboard for our shopping lists and menu plans.

Fingers crossed this is just the beginning of our quest to get more organised!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ahhh Tissue! The Winter Station

Well my organisation station is making slower progress than I would have liked but for good reason!
I am sick!!!!
No rest in the month of organisation, so I set up a "Winter Station" so that all of our winter goodies are in the one spot! 
I put our basket on the end of the kitchen bench, handy for me,
 but away from creative little hands!
Some Sorbolene for rosey dry kiddie cheeks (and my hands!)
Tissues, that I have also found are a great way to amuse babies
and in the little tin
chap sticks, paw paw ointment and throat lozenges.
Loved the pink and brown floral tissue box!
Some gorgeous tissue boxes from the Kleenex Decor Range

I loved the idea of a "Summer Station"
using baskets of all descriptions to gather and organise items from

I combined these lovely creative ideas from some clever Mums to make something
that makes our home life a little easier, especially when the mother pigeon is sick!
No more searching around for some cough lollies or a chapstick,
 (which somehow always seem to be located on the floor of the car?!)
Tomorrow I promise to have some pictures of the little progres we have made on our organisation station! In between coughing that is!