Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Unperfect Scrolls......

The gorgeous Lucy over at Unperfect Life posted a few weeks ago about this recipe here.

I have had it in my mind to try these for sometime, and the school sports day cake stall bloody bakeoff is still in progress, so I went to dig out lovely Lucy's recipe today.

(And imagine my sense of deja vu when I realise that she has posted about them again today.......read the comments......oh my.....some droolworthy variations!)

Anyway,  we made them today.

Some with mustard, ham and cheese, some with and mozzeralla and bacon. And some with apricot jam and chopped dried apricot.

They are mini versions ( I rolled the dough thinner) but they worked well. Rather than baking them in tin, I spaced them separately on a tray. And I burnt my gob on the apricot jam ones.

So thank you Lucy......the keen ladies of the East Marden fundraising committee will thank you too! xx



Wednesday = Chores


=



Tuesday, 30 March 2010

B L T

So good.

So many carbs and way too much fat.

But I don't care.

It was feckin' delicious.




(Can you tell I cannot be arsed with a deep and meaninful post this evening?!)

My Favourite Olivia

Oh, she is my peach.
My calm and magical and stunningly beautiful girl.



I neglect her on this blog.

I am not sure why.

She is at school now. So she is home with me less in the day so I miss the joy of taking pictures of her.

And she is so good. And peaceful and chilled. She gets me less than my other two.

But I think about her all day. I cook for her and bake for her and hope she is happy at school. I love that bit of the day when I feel that soft small hand in mine, the moment we are out of sight of the school gate.

She asks me some days who is my favourite. I tell her that they are all my favourites.

She is my favourite red haired daughter.

She is my favourite six year old.

She is my favourite eldest.

She is my favourite Olivia-Pie

Olivia is Olivia and I love her so much.

Monday, 29 March 2010

More treaty things......

As you may have gathered here, I am currently tasked with makng things for Olivia's school sports day cake stall.

Lexie and I cooked up a storm today.

I recalled, with some fondness, how Chocolate Cornflake Cakes are the UK equivilent to the very Asutralian Chocolate Crackle.

These were a staple treat in most of my friends lunchboxes at both primary and high school.......

So we made a batch. Too easy.


Chocolate Cornflake Cakes

Ingredients

50g butter
100g dark chocolate melts
5 tbsp golden syrup
80g cornflakes
 
Method

1. Place the butter and the chocolate pieces in a saucepan with the golden syrup. Slowly melt over low heat, stirring. When the mixture is well blended, stir in the cornflakes.

2. Place some small paper cake cases on a tray. Fill each one with a heaped tablespoon of the mixture. Put in the fridge to set.
 
Lexie, of course, was insistent on laying them out on a tray to take photos, again.

And, as they were left to set in the fridge, set about making some more "treaty fings" from mud, dirt and patty pan cases, using the  garden as her kitchen..........


My Place & Yours

Danielle over at hello owl: is doing another My Place & Yours, so I thought I would join in.

This weeks theme is to show something we collect..........

At the risk of flippantly saying "children", I realise that by far my largest collection is books.

When I say that between me, lovely husband and three children, we have 14 large bookeshelves, I am not exagarating. Double stacked, most of them.

A large proportion of my allocated space is recipe books. And a large chunk is, too, I realise, is diet & self help books. Hell, I realise I even have double copies of some titles..........(see how badly I wanted and needed to give up the cigarettes? Done!)

Ha! The snap below is just a sample taster...........




What do you collect?

Point & Shoot: Rice Bubble Treaty Things a là Jessica Seinfeld

I have to premise this by telling you that we went to make this paticular treaty thing the other morning only because I knew we had totally run out of ALL types of flour.....there was not even a dusty old packet of weaval infested wholemeal in the pantry. (Can you tell I have a sick kid in a wheelychair so I have no time nor inclination to get to the supermarket?!)


So chocolate crackles sprang to mind, requiring no flour.

Until I remembered that we had no dessicated coconut, nor any Copha.

So, I remembered that the too good to be bloody true Jessica Seinfeld, in her perfect mother cookbook, has a recipe for "Marshmallow Crispy Treats" which uses, get this, brown rice which is puffed, marshmallows and flaxmeal.

As if.

But I DID really want to try the concept of melted marshmallows.


(Fool that I am, I have offered to make a bake/slice/biscuit/treaty thing contribution to the school sports day cake stall fundraiser. This was intended as practice run.)

So, by now I have the Rice Crispies and I am digging in the back of the larder for the marshmallow stash. That is SEVERELY diminshed. Not by me, I hasten to add. No idea who, but not me.

So instead of 10oz that Jessica Seinfeld required, I had a pathetic 1oz.

FARK.

SO, I ended up melting some cooking marg, throwing in the few marshmallows we did have, adding some cocoa powder and also some icing sugar. And the puffed rice.

And it worked like a charm. And here is a point and shoot that LEXIE took! Pretty good, that little threenager of mine!



The real recipe, for anyone that is keen, is here:
 
Ingredients:
 
Cooking Spray


1 tablesppoon trans-fat-free soft tub margerine spread (?? I would just use marg or butter?)

10oz (250g) marshamallows

6 cups crisp brown rice cereal

¼ cup flaxseed meal


Method:


Coat an 8x8 " baking tin with the cooking spray

Melt the margerine in a large pot over a low heat, add the marshmallows and stir completely melted. Remove pan from heat.

Add the rice cereal and flaxseed and stir until the rice cereal is well coated. Press the mixture into the baking dish and let cool before cutting into squares.

And for more glorious Point & Shoot fun, nip over to Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim........

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Languages of Love...


Years ago, I read this really good book, from the library I think.

I have since bought the book, and re-read it fairly regularly.

I have also recommended it countless times to friends: The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman




I Googled the book and author today, in order to email the details to a friend, and found that since I last looked, there is a whole shiny new website, with online assessments included. (Of course, I undertook the assessment: I just revel in an online quiz...)

It confirmed what I already knew:

That "Words of Affirmation" closely followed by "Acts of Service" are my predominant love languages.

Tell me I am an utter sex goddess, and that I am a remarkably perfect mother, and then of course empty the dishwasher and detail my car? I am yours forever.

The issue is that those languages of love are the ones that, when I am the recipient, make me feel loved.

But how do we make sure we show others that we really love them?

Natural behaviour suggests we will attempt to show them we love them by....errrmm....you guessed it, whatever works for us. And hope that that fills their tank. Kind of wing it with a one size fits all approach?

Or should we try and guess what their language of love is? And then try to do those things for them?

Or get them to read the book, or complete the online quiz? (Good luck, I say.)

Or, just hope for the best?

I guess that by just being aware enough, and consciously making an effort to try and show them how much we love them, that might be a good start?



I am unsure.

What do you reckon? How do you like to receive love?

How do you give love?

Share with me?


Saturday, 27 March 2010

The Middle Wife

I have a couple of lovely friends who are pregnant at the moment. One of them passed this onto me. Cathy, thank you. I read it and splurted wine over my keyboard.

To my lovely expectant friends,  and indeed other lovely pregnant chicks out there......I hope you have blissful and easy births like this one.......



The 'Middle Wife' by an Year Two Teacher:


I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own year two classroom a few years back.


When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.


Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant. 'This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday.'


'First, Mum and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mum's stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.'

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.


'Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mum starts saying and going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. 'She walked around the house for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)


'My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's Pizza man. They got my Mum to lie down in bed like this.' (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall)

'And then, pop! My Mum had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!' (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

'Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.'

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat I'm sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another 'Middle Wife' comes along.

This has reminded me that I should probably dig out my birth stories........they are nowhere near as funny as this, but they make me smile as much.........

Eeeeek!

Extreme Blog Makeover

Coming Soon!

Is Complete!

Let me know what you think? Better? Worse? Love it? Hate it?


Friday, 26 March 2010

This evening I am going to log off and......

Eat this:



Put these on:



Listen to this:



Light this:




And get in here:




Satisfaction...

Until relatively  recently, I have always believed that food (preferably junk food, fast food, greasy salty treaty food) will bring me the ultimate in satisfaction.

But, and call me slow on the uptake here, I have gradually begun to realise there are other things that can bring me MORE satisfaction. A lot more.

(Apart from the obvious, obviously. I wouldn't wanna get all "adults only" here.)




I'll give you an example:

Yesterday was busy busy busy. I had a lot of driving to do, all over the place, with the kids. to get chores & jobs done, but I also had a goddess grooming appointment early evening. So I was unsure as to fit dinner for the kids and myself into the mix.

On the way to one of the chores, I knew we would be passing Red Rooster.

Here is how my brain talks to me:

Perfect. For the kids. Not for me.

But I have been so busy today and I have been so good for the earlier part of this week. And one Red Rooster meal would surely be OK? Stuff it, yes, lets all get Red Rooster.

I can just envisage sinking my teeth into some hot and greasy crispy strips and chips.

But Red Rooster is actually a very bad choice. Even you, Lucy, cannot dress up Red Rooster as a healthy eating choice?

But I am hungry.

But you could wait 'till you get home and eat healthily?

But I am not sure I have time?

Well, you could always just eat an cereal bar? Why do you think you need to satisfy the hunger with crap? Just eat something high in protein and move on.  Eating doesn't have to be a treat, it is just fuel.

But I want a reward. Something to satisfy my soul?

But Lucy, you KNOW if you have Red Rooster you will feel like utter crap within minutes of eating it. Physically, emotionally and mentally.

Oh. Oh yeah. I would too.

You mean I can chose NOT to eat Red Rooster? And the knowledge that I made that choice, and that I took positive action, will make me feel MORE SATISFIED than actually eating the Red Rooster? Fark. LETS TRY THAT!

So I did try that. I ordered three kids meals at the drive through window of Red Rooster, carried on with the chores, ate a cereal bar as soon as I got home, bathed the kids, went and got myself pampered, and the satisfaction continued...........

How cool is that?

(If you are a naturally slim person who is not obsessed with food, this post may leave you shaking your head in confusion over my stating the absolute obvious. Sorry. But if you are like me and associate food with reward, with love, with boredom, with anger, with frustration, with just any other emotion you can name, then I know you will be getting what I am on about...............)




Thursday, 25 March 2010

Goddess Grooming......

Sine the Charlie debarcle, over a month ago now, I have been increasingly aware of the lack of what I call "goddess grooming" that I have had time for.

Don't get me wrong here: as a Mumma to three little tackers, I had blessed little time before Charlie's accident. (Some would say fuck all, to be frank).

But amazingly, I did used to manage to wash my hair and shave my bits and have a weekly appointment for "nice things that ladies like" kinda treatment, with the gorgeous girls down at Body By Sharon, my local beauty salon, in a nearly suburb, aptly named, Paradise.

Anyway, now that Charlie is home, and things are returning to their more normal and predictable groove, my weekly appointments can resume! Yay!

  • Nails
  • Feet
  • Chinny-chin-chin wax
  • Hair cut/re-style
This evening I have had a manicure and a pedicure. Thank goddess for that. I feel vaguely human again.



On the one hand I feel shamingly superficial for getting off on my grooming, but these days I adore the tizzying. I really do love it.

(It took me about 38 years to realise I was worth pampering. I am now making up for lost time. Superficial it might be, but if sparkly feet make me happier, then money and time well spent I say!)



As I was typing this, I got a real sense of déjà vu.

You know why?

'Cos of this post here!

Can you tell I am addicted to grooming?!

Are you? Tell me what makes you feel like a goddess groomed?


Ugly Dinner

Is it just me, or do most households have a standard range of meals that get dished up with frequent regularity?

And they are all tasty faves?

But some might not be quite.......errrrm, visually gorgeous?

What I am asking here is, does anyone else have a really ugly dinner?

You know the one: the one everyone loves, that is really easy and really yum? And the one that is also "good for us", in that it is crammed full of protien and veggies?

Chances are you do. Probably a "one pot shovel" as lovely husband likes to call it. ie, you make it in one pot, and then shovel it into a bowl, flop in front of the telly, and shovel it in your mouth, with a fork in one hand and your brain elsewhere?

Or, cringe, is that just us??

Ours is just called "Ugly Dinner"

Our Ugly Dinner is quite delish.

And here it is:

Mince Chow Mein








Get this:

1 sachet of Maggi Mince Chow Mein
1 onion, chopped
1 bag of dry coleslaw
Handful of frozen peas
400g lean minced beef
1 packet 98% fat free 2 minute noodles, prepared or if you are avoiding processed carbs, use fresh beansprouts instead:
Handful of peanuts or roasted broadbeans
Something green to garnish

Do this:

Dry fry the onion, add the mince
Add the sachet mix
Add the dry coleslaw
Add the peas
Add the cooked noodles or beansprouts
Add the nuts/broadbeans
Sprinkle with a green garnish (we always appear to have spring onion lurking.)

Serve, and shovel in.

What is YOUR ugly dinner? (Please, tell me you do have one?!)


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Web Less Wednesday


I am doing the disconnect today and logging into life instead, just to do loads and loads of "stuff". (Craft with the kids, depilation, ironing. Exciting stuff.)


Tuesday, 23 March 2010

It's Giveaway Time..........

If you look back here and here, you will notice that I have been promising a giveaway................

And so here it is!

This whole dieting bizzo, for me, has been life changing.

I have had so much help along the way to keep me on this journey.

And as a result, there has been a lot of components that have all been added to my "toolbox" for healthy living.

SO, I figured the very best thing for me to giveaway at this stage would be a package of things for anyone wanted to:
  • Embark on a journey to health
  • Kickstart a diet
  • Start living more healthily
  • Eat less move more
  • Gain slimness
  • Lose some lard
  • Diminish
  • Nurture themselves
Whatever you want to call it, however you want to phrase it, if you want to drop a dress size, or indeed if you need to lose 10 dress sizes, then this giveaway package is for you!

My box of goodies to you contains:

  • A smart little pedometer (so you can move more!)

  • A copy of the brilliant book "Think Slim" by Mark Stephens, which also contains access to a free MP3 Think Slim hypnotherapy session (so you will find it SO much easier to eat less!) One of the mainstays of my diminishing journey has been self guided hypnotherapy. I recall raving about its benefits here. Particularly Mark's Think Slim Program. It really is amazing, and I honestly credit the fact that I have remained on this journey of mine in no small part to his concepts. (Plus, at the risk of sounding like an advert here, the service I have recieved from the team at "Think Slim" is amazing as well.)

  • A beautiful beautiful Coconut, Lime & Lemon Verbena Parafait boxed gift set, so that you can just nurture yourself a little.




So...............if you would like to win all this, all you need to do is:

  • Follow me....
  • Comment, and tell me why you would like to diminish: give me your best and most honest reason



Monday, 22 March 2010

Point & Shoot.....

The beautiful Chantelle, from Fat Mum Slim, has another point and shoot thing happening.

And after recent disasters with my 'phone, and its camera,  I find myself with a new little camera.

So here we go: I pointed and shooted a lot this weekend, and one of the nicest ones is the view from our upstairs deck last night.

A Webered roast had been consumed in great company.

Enough wine had been drunk for me to feel luxurious.

And at the end of a busy weekend, what nicer place to be, than on my upstairs deck with lovely husband, looking out at this:



Sunday, 21 March 2010

blog this: Challenge 37 - Photography - A room with a view

blog this: Challenge 37 - Photography - A room with a view


Share a photo of your favourite view. Is it from your bed, a holiday, a local lookout? Why do you love it?


Can I start by telling you I am no photographer? (These snaps are taken by my one of my brothers. He emails them to me as teasers to come "home".)
 
I do like my views.
 
I struggled to pick just one spot that I crave views of.
 
But here is Croyde Bay. Baggy Point. North Devon. UK
 
 
 
 
 
 
My Dad lived here through his childhood.
 
I holiday'd here through my childhood.
 
I surfed and smoked dope here through uni summers.
 
My Daddy is now scattered over this sea you see.
 
My younger brother got married here.
 
Whenever I get back to the UK, we walk here, and talk here, me and my siblings. I even once carried my 10 month old son to the end of Baggy Point, so he could babble hello to his late Grandpa.


 

The journey to Croyde is a long one. And it feels longer in the anticipation of these views.



 





Saturday, 20 March 2010

Whys & Wherefores


On pondering this whole blog bizzo, I realised the this here blog of mine has changed and morphed a fair bit over the past 2 year or so. Like me really.

And one thing that has niggled me a little is that I have recently found myself blogging a lot less about my weightloss and my diet and my diminshing efforts.

Perhaps because I am concentrating less on it? Or, dare I admit it, doing a lot less on the whole diet caper?

And I have also noticed that I am the best maintainer of weight ever. Which would be OK if I was at a healthy weight. But I am not, not yet.

Why? Why have I moved, emotionally and practially, from "committed" to just "interested" in losing weight. (And the committed versus interesed concept is another blog post all to itself!)

I have mentioned him before, but he talks a lot of sense:

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit: Whys & Wherefores

He suggests that a clue may lie in the why's of this whole deal:


Why did I get the way I was? Why did I make the change? Why is this time going to be different?




If I look back to an old old post, from when I very first started, I did have some really great reasons.

Have those reasons changed or altered?

Can I "delete" any of them?

And if no deleting is going on, then those reasons are still current and valid?

And why do I not feel passionate about it any longer? No longer as driven?

And why have I not totally backslided? And stacked the whole lot back on?

And why, when I am now so clear on the benefits and joy of active fitness, do I not just match that with stricter food choices that will help me shed rather than just maintain?

And why is my family life so bloody busy and chaotic that I feel I so do not enough time or headspace to even think about these "Why's", let alone tackle them.

Ummmmmmmmmmmm.

Why indeed.

If anyone has any ideas to move me back to committed, or any suggestions on where I lost my diet mojo, lemme know?




Friday, 19 March 2010

It's like being kicked up the butt by a rainbow........


"It's like being kicked up the butt by a rainbow......"


Now that, ladies and gents, is a gem of a phrase that has only recently popped up in my world.

But one that has made me smile, many many times this week.

My beautiful friend, Adele, gave this pearler to me, via email, upon describing her utterly heavenly sounding child free morning of pampering followed by a blissful nana nap.

And to be frank, that kind of kick up the butt by a rainbow is what I need right now.

And then I realise that these metaphorical spirit lifters come upon us all the time, as long as we just watch out for them, or remember to feel and appreciate them.

A hug from a friend, a really good proper hug, that says "I get what you are going through" is an example.

A parcel left on your doorstep containing a beautiful scented candle (accompanied by a fairly welcomed and bossy instruction on how and when to utilise said candle!) is another.

A funny text when you are just about to lose it.

An email out of the blue.

A compliment that is so genuine and simple that it actually rings true.

A grin.

A happy 45 minute sprawling but funny and intimate conversation.

Are you with me?

All those nice things that make your world feel, well, just nicer and a bit easier?

They are the things that make me feel like I have been kicked up the butt by a rainbow.





Tell me, everyone out there in blogland, what makes YOU feel like you have been kicked up the butt by a rainbow?



Thursday, 18 March 2010

1000 Followers and Ricky Nelson.....

Oooooooh!

I have hit my first half century! (Can you tell lovely husband is a cricket fanatic?!)

And in honour of 50 followers, the whole giveaway project is totally underway and I am excited about it! LOADS of cool stuff coming your way!





So, if you are a lurker, who follows but doesn't comment, PLEASE comment.

Or if you are a lurker who pops in occasionally, can you "follow me" officially? (On the right hand side, third widget thingo down. The one that says Follow Me.......click on it.)

Talking of followers: here I am getting very excited over all 50 of you, but...........

Here's a man who has a weight loss blog which is not only an utter delight to read, but he has also just hit 1000 followers! See, it is good to know Jack Sh*t!

And last but not least, here is a little musical memory lane in the spirit of followers and lurkers everywhere............




Another hot date......

Can I be gooey and rave about my son Charlie again?

And can I combine that with being very parochial about South Australia?

Thursdays are the day when my youngest, Lexie, goes off to "ABC School" for the day. And my eldest, Olivia, is at school of course. So the recently returned from hospital son of mine; Charlie, well, we knew we had a day together, just the two of us.

He was so excited about many things today:

  1. Getting out of the house and getting some fresh air circulating around his face and his wheelychair
  2. Having his Mummy all to himself
  3. Going to the "Muze-eem"
  4. Having a day "of peace Mum. Wivout the girls. I luf them, but they are 'noying."
  5. Going into the CITY (not a thing I actively encourage.....grumpy old woman I am.)
  6. Having lunch in a "caffee"
Our hot date was to the place he loves the best in the whole wide world. The South Australian Museum



Let me tell you, such "culture" is usually, for me, only quickly undertaken on the way to a latte in the museum cafè.

We got there bang on opening and have only just got home. 5 hours of fun for free in the cool air conditioned comfort of one of Adelaide's finest facilities.

For anyone that has been to to the SA Museum before, you may recall the ground floor (slight old and dusty) taxidermied animals.....which is, for some reason, a huge draw for my kids. Especially the lion whose tale twitches.

Plus they are pretty damn keen on the big squid thing in the perspex column that spans the depth of three entire floors.

And there is the ice wall thingo in the In the Footsteps of Douglas Mawson area, which they leave their little hot handprints upon everytime.

But now there is also the brand spanking new and shiny South Australian Biodiversity Gallery.

Now I can totally understand if I have lost you now......because it sure does SOUND as dull as ditchwater.

BUT, how cool was it?! The whole of the second floor of the museum given over to exploring, very interactively, the natural history of SA. It was like a carnival for the senses, with movies, experiments, touchscreen stuff, computers, sounds, light shows.........it was truly amazing!

Charlie loved it, I loved it. (Plus, on a very practical level, it was bliss to be in good air con in a civil enviroment that caters so very very well for wheelychairs.)

And the cafè bit was truly delightful too.




How cool is it to realise that you really love love love the company of your children?


Charlie is now napping. And so very happy. It was a great date.