Wednesday, 5 December 2012

She works hard for the money...

I have been a very busy girl lately!

I recently got another job coordinating a lovely local shop! It's part of a great organisation called Green Collect. I am spending my days selling products that I believe in and am excited to be part of another organisation that does a lot of good in the community.

All the products we sell in our shops are made using socially and environmentally responsible practices and our collections and upcycling staff create lovely new stationary products out of office waste (redundant letter heads, binders, manila folders etc) collected from businesses around Melbourne.

The upcycling studio creates jobs for people who may have experienced homelessness or other barriers to employment. There is a sewing enterprise project with a group of African women who make and sell lovely products from upcycled blankets, shirts and ties. We also have a great range of very high quality recycled clothing- lots of designer brands at a fraction of the cost of buying new!

I am really loving my two workplaces and I am pretty much working full time now. This is more than I anticipated but I think it is the right decision for our family. We will probably face some childcare challenges in the new year but I am a firm believer that things work out if they are meant to be.

If you are interested in checking out our lovely wares, we have a new Facebook page CLICK HERE. You can also purchase upcycled products via our Etsy store CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

As requested.. The lemon cake recipe to end all lemon cake recipes!!

I believe that food should be enjoyed, and while I do need to limit the quantity and ensure the quality is top-notch, I don't believe in avoiding treats! 

Food is not naughty.. it's delicious!!

So, in the interest of balance, I give you the ultimate lemon cake recipe!!

**warning- contains nuts**

Nigella's Lemon Cake (adapted from How to Eat)

400g lemons
250g caster sugar
250g ground almonds
6 eggs
1tsp baking powder

Place lemons in a saucepan, cover with boiling water and simmer for 1-1.5 hours or until the lemons are very tender (a spoon should easily break the skin). Top up with boiling water from the kettle if the water gets too low. Once cooked, remove from water and allow to cool.

Pre-heat oven to 190c degrees and grease and line an 8" round cake tin (or use patty pans like we did!)

Place the cooled lemons in a food processor and whiz them up until they are a fine puree. Pick out any pips that are left over. Add the rest of the ingredients and whiz again until it's all combined.

Pour into pan and bake for about an hour (or until a skewer comes out clean). Check it at the 40 minute mark and place some foil over the top to stop the cake from browning too much (we didn't do this and ended up with dark tops... it was a great excuse to blob some lemon cream on the top!).

Turn the cake out on a tray and allow to cool. As I said, pop some sweetened lemon cream on the top for an extra treat or make up some lemon cream cheese icing... yummy!!!

Enjoy with a cuppa and you've got the makings of a lovely morning or afternoon tea!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

I love my strong and muscular body..

I have learned to love my body.

After two kids and many years of my weight yoyoing up and down I am finally at a place where my health is far far more important than my vanity.

I am at peace with my stretch marks and my saggy tummy because as many other women have expressed, they symbolise the amazing function my body has performed... growing two 9+lb babies and holding them safely until term.

I haven't always felt this way. I have said very cruel things to myself over the years. Things I would never say to anyone else! I have believed I am ugly, too fat, too tall, with frizzy and unruly hair.

But now, at almost 28 I've had enough of all that shit.. enough!!

I am not ugly! I am beautiful! Just the right height, my hair is actually great! When I care for it properly, it is very well behaved and does what I tell it to! It's thick and has a lovely soft curl.

I will not hate my body or judge anyone else based on their size, shape, colour or ability.

Health is not about being thin!

I lift weights. I love weights!

I feel powerful, strong, able. I am knowledgable and my form is always perfect. I am very good at weights. My body doesn't ever let me down on the weights floor.

I love my strong and muscular body and I will continue to train it and care for it because it deserves my effort.

I decided to do this post as part of the I Heart My Body Campaign at We Heart Life. I love how positive this campaign is! Love it!! I am now going to go check out how other lovely women are feeling about their bodies!

When TV looks just like life and makes me laugh and cry.

Last night's episode of Modern Family had our family in stitches!

It was the one where all the women in the Dunphy household had their periods at the same time and the fellas spent the whole time tip-toeing around trying not to do or say anything wrong. The funniest scene was one set in the bathroom and involved a lot of fake blood and screaming.. Oh.. good times..

The three women were tired, foggy, irritable, crying at the drop of a hat and behaving in a very stereotypically "PMS" kind of way. If I could be bothered being a raging feminist I might look at it more critically- however- I'm not doing that.. What I am going to do is let myself enjoy laughing at an experience that I myself have struggled a lot with over the years.

I think the episode touched a nerve for me because, despite having lots of period issues throughout my life, I haven't really felt like this for ages! Funnily enough, this week has been a shocker for me in that way. I haven't cried so much in such a long time. I have felt too tired to exercise, very sad, queazy, have wanted to sleep and sleep, and have been bloated and sore.

Last night I bawled my eyes out because a little girl on the TV show "Life at 7" (ABC) said she wanted to be a bio-medical scientist. Her dad had been a cleaner, then his business went bust.  The family spent some time living in poverty and her father was in and out of jobs. This awesome guy wanted his kids to have higher expectations in life so he led by example and went back to uni to study... you guessed it... bio-medical science! WAAAAH!!

I had an IUD put in at the beginning of the year and since then my periods have been fine. But for some reason, this cycle has been a doozie! So this Modern Family episode really gave me a giggle.

A new favourite term, as coined by "Luke" is "Monstruation".. teehee!

I couldn't find a clip of the actual episode, but I thought I should leave you with something to give you a chuckle so let's have some fun with Cam!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The bolognese that blew my freaking mind...

I made bolognese yesterday... big deal! I hear you say..

But it was a big deal you see.. because it was GILL'S bolognese.. Gill from River Cottage. And Gill from River Cottage, I now realise, has the best bolognese recipe in the whole world.. Think I'm exaggerating??!

You must CLICK HERE right now and get this recipe for yourself! Because it was the best freaking pasta sauce I have ever consumed! It has a whole lot of lovely, healthy ingredients but I think the thing that made it so wonderful was the cooking time. I let it simmer away for nearly two hours. Like a bolognese stew really! We left out the booze because we had none and swapped the pancetta for short cut bacon. Even with those changes it was amazeballicious!

I SO wish I had taken a better picture but alas, we ate it all before I managed to snap a classy food-bloggeresque image to share. The River Cottage crew have a lovely, much more appetising image on their page which I could've stolen (and given due credit of course) but in the interest of being an ethical blogger, this crappy picture will have to do!

We ate the whole batch last night. John and the kids had theirs with spaghetti and I had mine poured over some blanched broccoli and cauliflower. I would've had the spaghetti usually but yesterday was "accelerator day" on the 12wbt and it was just as delicious with veggies.

***Quick brag***
I have now dropped 9.8kg in the 9 weeks I have been following the 12wbt plan!! Feeling much healthier and my head is so much clearer!!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Are you intimidated by the weights floor? Or are you a regular iron pumper!?
The dreaded lovely kettlebells!

Lifting weights is one of those things that can seem really scary and intimidating. When you walk onto the weights floor in the gym for the very first time it is SO common to feel like you don't belong.. like everyone else there is looking at you and making judgements. Those machines look technical and tricky and it seems like you'll never feel comfortable.

This might be you... or it might not. Not everyone feels like this. You might be more self confident and might feel happy enough to sidle up to the nearest meat head muscular gym type and ask advice on how the machines work and get a few pointers on technique. I have done this myself and have usually found that people are friendly and helpful. 

Another path to confidence on the weights floor is to have a program written for you by the gym staff. You can talk to them about your goals and they will design a program just for you! They will even take you through each exercise and make sure you are doing it correctly to minimise the chance of injury. It's amazing how quickly you can become confident once you know a lat pulldown from a tricep extension

So why don't we see more women on the weights floor?? Is it simply because it has traditionally been a men's game?? Are women intimidated by the men, or by others who seem to know what they're doing? Or is it because women are fearful that they may "bulk up" and become too masculine? Julia from Julia's Fitness Blog has written a great post on why this is a flawed theory and why strong is the new skinny.. check it out!

I asked my friend B a few questions about weights. B is in her early 20s, she is quite self confident and trains with weights intermittently. 

A: Do you lift weights?:
B: I lift little weights in the gym...about 3 kilos I think. I think I started doing it because i wanted to be stronger. To help me with my horse riding. 

A: Are you comfortable in the gym?? 
B: Yes, because I go to the uni gym where my partner works and it's a pretty non threatening environment. It's full of students from all different backgrounds and people at all different levels of fitness. I don't feel perved on and there are plenty of women. I also know lots of people.

A: What would make you feel uncomfortable in a gym?? 
B: If I felt self conscious of what I was doing. If I thought people were watching me and judging my ability or technique. I'd hate to think people were staring and thinking "look at that girl... she's doing it all wrong!" 

A: If a trainer suggested lifting heavier weights, would you feel comfortable to have a go? 
B: If it made sense as to why they were suggesting it I would give it a try. I would need to have info on why it would be the best exercise for me and my goals.

So, do you lift weights?? If so, why? Do you love them or loathe them? Or are you indifferent? Do you have any goals relating to your strength or muscle tone? Are you someone who has been worried that you'll grow a stonking great pair of Arnie biceps??

What are your concerns? Fears? What do you LOVE about weights?? 

I'd be thrilled to hear from you in the comments!!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

What I learned from the ProBlogger event... that I didn't attend

For those of you who follow me on Twitter (if you don't, you can by clicking here!) you may be painfully aware that I totally crashed the ProBlogger event conversation! That little #pbevent hashtag made me very excited!

I am really sad that I hadn't budgeted to go this year and that a virtual pass is currently out of my financial reach.. however the wonderful thing about bloggers is that there was a plethora of information spilling forth from the conference via Twitter. For those two days I lived vicariously through those bloggers. The tweets, the photos, the hairstyles, boots, nails, bags, food... all of it.. I lapped it up!!

Just following along with the #pbevent tweets was enough to rekindle my desire to blog and blog well. I want to make Go Mumma awesome. One of the pieces of advice that came through- and I sheepishly can't remember who said it.. it might have been @_sarahwilson_ - was to look at what questions people ask you because that is what people think you know about and what they expect to hear from you.

That got me thinking... what do people expect to hear from me?? What do people ask me about? I pretty much just blog about my life however there are two distinct areas that have emerged over the years.. pregnancy and health & fitness.  Now- at this stage I have no more baby plans so that pretty much leaves me with a blog about good health. And I DO get asked lots of questions about how to feel good and treat the body with respect.

And I actually DO know a lot about this area.. I live it every day.. I know healthy weight loss and I know fitness (don't tell anybody but I almost finished a PT course and intend to go on to study exercise science at some stage when I don't have a million other things to do) So I have made a decision to take this blog back to where I first began... to where my passion and knowledge intersect.

I am a health and fitness blogger..

And an awesome side note?? My boss told me I could probably use the next PBevent as professional development and have it paid for by work as I am the "social media" person for our team.. Yayzers!!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Stages of Change Model :: My personal story



I sometimes wonder why I go through periods where I just can't get my head into gear. Why I can't do the right things for my mind and body despite knowing exactly what to do to be healthy.

Like many of you, I have had some very bleak times where I pretty much resign myself to being overweight, unfit and down in the dumps for the rest of my life. I have said things like "why bother?", "I'll only put the kilos back on again", "I'm too busy/tired/sad", "it hurts", "I'm too fat to do that" etc etc etc... pretty defeatist stuff isn't it? These conversations have the potential to go on and on.

But then a small voice starts whispering from somewhere deep in my brain (she has possibly been stuffed in a cupboard to shut her up) and I begin to hear her.. a tiny voice timidly saying things like "you can do it", "you're worth the effort", "why do you always put yourself last?".

This is usually the point where I begin to reach out for support. I tell people I trust (in real life of my online friends) that I'm not doing well and I start investigating what other people have done to get themselves to where I want to be. This is also a very dangerous point, as it is often the point where I feel desperate enough to do stupid things like using meal replacement shakes and doing strict detoxes. I know these things don't work for me but when you're desperate, you make silly decisions. I do this for a while, I usually receive lovely support from my wonderful community.

Then something clicks for me. It's like a light being switched on.

I remember that the only way to long term health and fitness is by doing it properly... slowly.. steadily.. with consistent effort. So I decide on a healthy approach and I stick to it for longer than a few weeks. And I see RESULTS! And I begin to feel better in body and mind. I begin sharing my experiences with others who are also on a similar journey. Inspiring people, real people, people who also need support.

If I stick to this long enough I know I will get to where I want to be. It is, for me, about persevering. About sticking to it. But it doesn't guarantee that I will never struggle or hear those loud, abusive voices again.

This reminded me of something we used to talk about at uni when studying mental health and substance abuse- the Stages of Change Model. It looks like this;

Pre-contemplative > Contemplative > Preparation > Action > Maintenance

But the catch is, that it is expected that a person usually goes from maintenance, back around to pre- contemplation again and start all over again at some stage. They might not spend as much time in that stage as they did before, but it is NORMAL not to be in action or maintenance all the time.

And that's ok.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Consistency is the key

I am now in week 7 of the 12 Week Body Transformation. I haven't really posted anything about it as I feel like I shared SO much of myself in the last round that my focus shifted from the actual task at hand and I spent a lot of time thinking about how I presented myself in videos and blogs (and trying to inspire others along the way). This is not a bad thing per se however I did lose focus and wound up not finishing the 12 week program. I just dropped the ball and it was all too much pressure.

So this time I decided to keep it sort of on the down low. I have been sharing on Facebook and talking with family but the blog really hasn't been my focus. Having said that, I now feel like I can share a little bit about how I've been going.

My mantra for this round has been "consistency is the key" and I have been focusing on doing ALL the workouts I plan at the beginning of my week and consistently sticking to my healthy nutrition plan.

I have now lost 8.3kg over the last 7 weeks. Consistency is working. I am feeling fitter, stinger, my head is clearer and I can't wait to feel even better as the weeks roll on.

Are you trying to get healthy? Do you have a support network? What are you doing to get you to where you want to be? I'd love to hear from you. Please drop me a comment below.


My face- 7 weeks and 8kg down and I'm beginning to see some changes.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

2 days in... 1200 calories

Howdy all,

It's now day three of my 1200 calorie plan. I am using the My Fitness Pal iPhone app to track my food and I am actually struggling quite a lot. It's amazing what tracking can do for your awareness of what you put in your mouth.

Day one was fine- I stuck within the 1200 calories. Yesterday was not so great. I really got hungry in  the afternoon and I found myself nibbling at this and that throughout the day. When I logged it all in I was up to 1500 calories! Which in itself is not a disaster because at the weight I currently am, I should still have a loss- a smaller one, but a loss just the same.

Today I have had breakky and lunch and only have about 300 calories left. We have a communal meal tonight so I am not sure what will be served. I figure if I just have a little bit I should be ok. If it's a crazily calorie-laden meal (which I highly doubt) I'll wait until I get home and have some veggie soup.

I think I might need to make a bit of a plan for myself so I am not running out of calories so easily! I might dig out some of my 12wbt meal plans from last year as the food was amazingly good and I really wasn't feeling hungry at all.

All up though, I feel like my head is in the game but I don't feel a huge sense of pressure. I think that's because I am just doing this for me so the pressure is kind of off.

Hope you're having a nice day!


And here's a reward for reading this... you get to see my cute boy and his Iggle Piggle.

Monday, 6 August 2012

1200 calories

My eating has become quite out of control again...

So for at least the rest of the month I am going to cut the crap (food) and aim for 1200 calories per day.

I'm not going to weigh myself until August 31st so I don't get too obsessive about the numbers. I am about a size 18 right now- not measuring. I don't care how many centimetres I am. I do, however want to get back into my size 12-14 clothes in the long term.

The plan is to just eat regular food but stick to the calories. Keeping it super simple. I am also aiming to walk for an hour on Monday, Tuesday and Sunday & also do some boxing with my mate Yelka on Sunday mornings before or after the walk.

I'd love some encouragement so feel free to pop a comment down below or email me.


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Lets go to the movies!!

I was lucky enough to stumble upon this random tweet on Monday;

As you can see, I did indeed "RT" the said tweet and scored myself tickets!!

So I hastily called Mum and she was kind enough to come and babysit for us so John and I could go out on a date! The second date we have been on since we started fostering miss 11 in November last year! Long overdue!

Once we escaped the wee ones we headed north of the city to The Regal Ballroom in High Street Northcote. This glorious building was once The Northcote Theatre and to celebrate the 100 year anniversary they are reviving the old theatre for one month and showing some wonderful films and hosting awesome bands. Click the link above for the full program.

I absolutely loved The Artist. It helped that we were in an elegant Ballroom theatre and I was on a romantic date with the huzbo but it was a wonderful film. 

If you get a chance to get over to Northcote, they are playing The Shining tonight (Wed) and Moulin Rouge on Thursday! I would love to see Moulin Rouge there- the surroundings are just so perfect.

I am stoked that I scored the tickets- we totally needed the break away from our frantic life!

Thank you Mr. Aron Tzimas (@arontzimas) whoever you are! And thanks a bunch to The Northcote Theatre for a fab night out!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

2800 Page views yesterday!!

I just checked my analytics and realised that I had a MASSIVE spike in readers yesterday!

Almost 2800 page views of Richie's birth story! Just yesterday!

Most of the traffic came from Facebook but the links aren't leading me anywhere so I am asking you... If you are reading this and you found my blog via a facebook shared link, please let me know! I am SO curious!!

I can guess that it is a U.S. page and most likely a BIG one as the traffic was INSANE!

Out of those 2800 page views I got 3 comments! Only 3!! 


Friday, 29 June 2012

Growing growing growing...

It never stops. I'm glad it doesn't but it does freak me out regularly!

Molly is half way through her 5th year and she can pretty much write. If I receive a letter from her I can always make out what she's trying to say. It's blowing my mind right now.

What milestones were/are the most striking to you with your kids? What freaks you out? What shocks you?

Hit me up in the comments!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

What rituals give you life??

I love a good ritual!

Now that I work on weekdays (like normal people), I get to enjoy the "pre-work cafe stop" ritual! 

I have been leaving home stupidly early just so I can squeeze the most time out of my morning "me" time. This morning it was still dark when I left. I don't know what it is about the morning cafe stop... It's just so revitalising before the day starts. I sit here (yes.. I'm here now) with my MacBook and a long macchiato and it's like I could be on holiday or something! 

What rituals give you life?? What rejuvenates you??

Friday, 22 June 2012

The new Job...

Hey all,

It's been a while! Just thought I'd pop in and tell you how much I LOVE my new job! It's only two days a week, so not really enough to pay the bills... but it's totally great- right up my alley!

I am working for an organisation which started as a response to homelessness in Melbourne. It's a place where wealthy people, homeless people, drug addicts, students, other workers in the area, can all sit down together at the same table and have a meal. Just eat and talk and get to know each other.. like a family. It's not a soup kitchen.. It's more like a family dinner.

It's a place where each person has an understanding that we are all inherently the same and it is only our context that makes us different.

My job is to talk to groups of school students about issues of home, homelessness, belonging and our sameness. I basically walk around the city and talk to kids about the different spaces and who belongs there. How awesome is that? I get to help kids gain an understanding of empathy and about how we can endeavour to create a sense of "home" for people wherever we are. What a privilege to be a part of the mind expansion of kids.

It's such a great job.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

If money were no object...

In the comments section of my last post about my job being made redundant, one of my lovely friends/readers/supporters "Secret Agent Awesome" asked me this question;

If money were no object, what would you do?

So I thought I'd have a bit of a brainstorm here about the things I love and maybe I'll feel inspired to pursue a path that will lead to a more fulfilled life. Here's hoping anyway!

 I love to be creative and make things. Food, craft, art, blogging, knitting, crochet, music, gardening, growing veggies and cooking with them, browsing pretty things online, reading books, taking photos. I am becoming more and more interested in exploring my impact on the planet and living in a responsible way. I love being around people doing things in a team.

I am a qualified Social Worker and I worked hard for my degree. I feel I should use it but I don't really get a lot of joy from much of the work I have tried in the area. I have done case management and support work and while I enjoyed the roles, they didn't bring me to life. I want to do something that makes me really excited. 

I am really inspired by people who do things that make them happy and seem to make a living out of it. Here's a few examples of folks doing this:  

These women all work really hard at what they do. But never appear to be weighed down with the hard stuff. Call it poise if you like, but I think it's a product of being totally invested in something they love. I want to be like that. But I also need to make enough to support my family. I really wish money were no object but I need to make enough to pay our rent and bills. 

After all is said and done I think... 

If money were no object I would be a maker of nice things...

On being "let go"... I could really use your support.

Before I start this post I would like to show you my new cute jacket. I need to think about this nice thing... because I just lost my job.

This morning I rocked up to my office, turned on the computer, checked my emails and followed my usual morning work routine. My colleague rolled up soon after me and right after that there was a knock at the door. Our program manager and the general manager of mental health were there... to give us both 4 weeks notice. 

Apparently the structure of our program has been changed and weekend workers are no longer required.

So here I am... at home.. on the weekend.

It's kind of nice actually. 

If I wasn't the sole bread winner for my family I might be able to enjoy it. But I am. I am supporting this family of 5 right now and I no longer have this job. John finishes his course mid next year (a full time primary education course) so I really need to find more work ASAP. I have been offered a redundancy package so I have a few weeks to find something.

Is it time for a change? Do I use my social work degree in another position? Will I find something that fits our family situation? Do I want to pursue a more creative way of making money? Do I want to work full time hours? Maybe just for a year... I really need to take some time to think. 

I'm sure things will be fine. I really am... but times of un-expected change are very disconcerting.

I could really use some support. Please let me know if you have ever been let go. How was it for you? How did you get past it? Do you have any pearls of wisdom for me? 

I am choosing to believe this is a good thing. A welcome change in direction. An opportunity. But your ideas and prayers would be welcome!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Tall Jan is malicious!

Not sure why I just thought of this ad... but I'm glad I did!

Super easy coconut cake

This cake is perfect for when you have no butter or eggs but want to whip up something delish for afternoon tea. It has a chewy crust & a chewy centre. An accompanying cup of tea is a must!


1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut


Pre-heat oven to 180c. Throw all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, mix and pour into a prepared small-med cake tin. Bake for 45-60 mins until a skewer comes out clean.

Dust with icing sugar & enjoy!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Have you ever had a bad dental experience??

The last few days have been agony! The tooth that I recently had the first stage of root canal on started hurting on Wednesday. It was just a little sharp pain when I bit down to begin with but over the last few days it has just been getting worse and worse. Last night I tried to eat some rice and yummy beef stew that John had lovingly made as a prelude to mother's day and I happened to bite the tooth down on a tiny piece of rice which just about made me cry. I nearly screamed it hurt so much!

I tried to get into the dental hospital last night after work but I forgot the concession card and the receptionist informed me that I would need to come in the morning as they were only taking accidents and injuries.

So I went back today and waited over an hour to be told that it was an infection and my dentist should have completed the next stage of the procedure when I saw him two weeks ago. If he had have done the work then, it wouldn't have become infected. So I'm pretty annoyed. I pay good money... a lot of it.. to have a professional do the right thing by me and when that doesn't happen it makes me really cross.

Have you ever had an experience like this? If so, what did you do about it? Should I complain? Find a new dentist? Ugh.. It's just so frustrating!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Product talk: Yumbums All Natural Bottom Balm For Bubs

Product talk by Nuffnang

The wee man and I both have persistent skin issues. I have suffered with eczema since I started breastfeeding Molly (which makes me think it's probably a hormonal issue) and have tried many many different topical solutions. Richie has had bad nappy rash and has also suffered with sore and itchy eczema on different parts of his body. It is for this reason that I jumped on the opportunity to review Yumbums All Natural Bottom Balm For Bubs as I had heard it was a naturopathic alternative to conventional chemical-laden bum salves.

The eczema on my right hand has been giving me grief recently so as soon as I picked this balm up from the post office I slathered it all over. The first thing I noticed was the earthy unprocessed colour and texture. The olive & coconut oil base helped the balm to melt into the skin and it absorbed just enough to leave a protective barrier over my hand which I assume is due to the beeswax. The smell, once again is quite earthy- it smells "naturopathic" if that means anything to you. I'm pretty sure it's the golden seal that gives it a somewhat sharp scent. The balm was very soothing on my hand and the redness/soreness has subsided significantly. I will continue to use this and report any further improvement.

Richie's nappy area seems to like the balm too! It seems to be keeping his nappy rash at bay and I feel great knowing that I am putting something natural and lovingly crafted by a Naturopath on his little bot-bot.

If you would like to get your hands on this lovely product head over to and purchase a pot for $18.50.

A few more things about Yumbums:

  • Contains only the highest quality natural and organic ingredients
  • Formulated by a qualified naturopath, Gali Lenko.
  • Contains no petrochemicals, parabens, sulphates or synthetic fragrances
  • Australian made and owned

Saturday, 5 May 2012

New blogs and roo stew

We've had a lovely day today. A slow morning in PJs. Poached eggs, espresso made by John, quiet lolling about and a visit from my Aunty who dropped off a desk for Miss 10 (who was totally stoked and immediately started planning which books would go where). We then all jumped in the car and drove across town to leafy Blackburn where we spent the afternoon eating quiche and drinking tea with John's parents. After a lovely email from my mother in law during the week detailing the delicious treats she had been baking, John and I suggested she start a blog. So I sat down for a few minutes and set one up for her!

If you would like to go and sample some of Joy's treats, head over to The nosey cook's cosy nook!

After our lovely visit in Blackburn the gang once again bundled ourselves into the Camry and made our way back up the Eastern Freeway towards Footscray. We made it just in time to do a quick whip around clean-up before our friends came for dinner. Our lovely friends turned up at the door at 6pm holding a slow cooker filled with kangaroo stew and an accompanying pot of cooked rice so our evening could not have been easier and we spent several hours sitting around, sharing delicious food and drinks and chatting. Together we browsed some of our favourite YouTube clips and web sites and shared our current giggles such as Portlandia, Cake Wrecks and Ron Burgundy's recent appearance on Conan announcing the Anchorman Sequal (!!). What a pleasant way to spend a Saturday evening.

PS. John-Boy (aka The Holy Boot) and I are starting a "together blog" called A Footscray Garden documenting our progress in creating a little urban farm in our back yard and I assume other bits and pieces that we think you'll enjoy reading about so why not head over and say hi!

Friday, 4 May 2012

My new red locks!

Excuse the doofus face... but check the red locks!!

Pretty daisies

I think I like the second picture down the most. What do you think? 

I would love to make a bunch of these and make a scarf or headband.

 Wouldn't that just be so cute?!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Rhubarb and vanilla bean jam!

As winter rolls around once again the plums and apricots have long since disappeared from our trees and have been made into delicious jams, preserves and baked goods, not to mention eaten fresh from the tree. 

This time of year is not known for jamming but I have found a gorgeous recipe for jam made from the abundant rhubarb plant that lives by our front porch. We usually use rhubarb in crumbles and pies and sometimes stew it up with apples to eat with icecream but this year I have an inkling that the whole plant will be cooked up into this delicious spread!

Without further ado, here is the recipe!
Adapted from BBC Good Food

Rhubarb and vanilla bean jam

1kg rhubarb (trimmed of leaves and ends)
1kg sugar
1 tsp pectin (or, as I did, finely dice the skin of a mandarin or clementine- any citrus skin will do)
2 vanilla beans halved

Put a small plate in the freezer.

Wash rhubarb, chop into 3cm chunks and place in a large pot with the sugar, mandarin skin and vanilla bean. Cook over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

Turn to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft and beginning to break apart. After this point, begin testing every 2 minutes to see if the jam is set by dropping a small amount onto the cold plate. After a couple of minutes, run your finger through the jam on the plate and if it wrinkles on the surface it is ready.

Once the jam is ready, carefully spoon into warm sterilised jars and place lids on while the jam is still hot to ensure a vacuum seal.

Stored in a dark pantry, this delicious jam should keep for 6 months.



Before the sugar dissolved

Simmering away nicely

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Gorgeous colourful tights made in Melbourne

So.... I have died and gone to heaven! Locally and lovingly made gorgeous tights in all the colours of the rainbow!

What better way to jazz up a dreary winter wardrobe (not that your wardrobe is dreary!!) than with a pair of delightful coloured tights from OKOK in Brunswick!

I am yet to purchase a pair for myself as I am pondering which of the plethora of hues I will choose first but rest assured I will be visiting again soon!

Here's the deets!

Shop 16,Hardwick Building
Sparta Place,459 Sydney Road
Brunswick Vic 3056,Australia

Ph. + 61 3 9387 9840

(This is not a sponsored post... I just think these tights are well pretty!)

Monday, 16 April 2012

Brain spew... things I love

Blue skies with fluffy white clouds. Crisp sunny mornings. Quietness. Silence. Wide open spaces. Green grass. Quaint cottages. Neat rows of vegetables in garden beds. Messy, wild veggie gardens with no paths. Little birds picking at the ground. Wiggly earthworms in my worm farm munching on my kitchen scraps. Growing plants from seeds. Every day miracles. A clean kitchen. The smell of baking bread. Butter. Lots of butter. The smell of spices. The smell of wet laundry. The smell of freshly cut grass. The feel of my Pop's front lawn under my feet. Doing cartwheels on Pop's lawn. Eating boiled fruit cake with nan. Drinking 27 cups of tea. Coffee. Really good coffee. Meeting passionate new people. Meeting people who like the things I like. My babies. My daughter's soft soft soft cheeks. My son's cheeky bites on my feet, arms, fingers. My darling footy loving, silly, hairy, talented husband. Wool. Colourful crochet hooks. Finding new fun patterns. Creating. Finishing things. Reading blogs. Dreaming of changing things. Actually changing things. Moving a room around. Cleaning away dust. Forgiving people. Laughing. Hysterical laughing. Collapsing on the floor laughing. Funny visuals. Cake Wrecks. My sister in law. Being together. Creating together. Watching the family expand. Being in on the secret. Keeping secrets. Receiving letters. Realising I am making a difference. Loving people. Being vulnerable. Taking risks. Hiding away sometimes. Closing the door. Saying goodbye. Sighing in relief. Finding treasures in op shops. Vintage dresses. Cleaning out my wardrobe and donating things to the op shop. Changing the sheets. Showering, shaving my legs and getting into bed. Turning over my pillow to feel the cool on my cheek. Waking up when it's still dark. Walking on my own. Travelling to the river. Smelling wet earth. My weekend co-worker. Learning from elders. Listening to music created by my family. Listening to my 1 year old learning to sing. Hearing my 5 year old's naturally perfect pitch. Knowing that music will be special to them too. Our foster child. Being trusted. Sharing life together. My darling mother. Seeing mum in her element. Eating her delicious foody creations. Being ok with not really knowing much. Being open to learning new things. Eating things that nourish me. Eating luscious treats. Moving my body without feeling restricted. Knowing that there is more to life than just this. Knowing God. Knowing love. Knowing that they are one and the same.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Crocheting is awesome.. so are school holidays and my family!

I have discovered that what I thought was knitting's plain little sister, is in fact, freaking awesome!

These last couple of weeks have been (surprisingly) really nice! The idea of the kids being on school holidays was making me feel extremely tired. I would go as far as saying I had anxiety just thinking about it... But around the holidays rolled and, to my surprise, we have had a delightful time!

It's been a gorgeous feeling closing my eyes at night without the inevitable "Oh crap! Better set the alarm!" and just as lovely faffing about in my pyjamas for an extra hour or so in the morning. There has been an abundance of tea brewed, chocolate and hot cross buns eaten, a few lovely/frustrating family gatherings, and a whole lot of crafting going on!  Despite a few stressful things happening  for some members of our family, we have drawn together over the last couple of weeks and I can really feel the love right now. I love how we draw near to each other in a crisis.

Richie has started walking and is loving exploring his little world from a new perspective. He is going through some pretty full on separation anxiety so parting is sweet sorrow (sweet for me and sorrow for him... did I just say that!?) but apparently he is fine as soon as I leave. I start a new job in mid May so I will be needing to leave him with my mum weekly.. that will be an interesting experiment. I will be working a total of 4 days per week as I am keeping my weekend job too. I haven't ever worked this much before so we shall see how it goes. I'm sure it will be fine and we will be able to juggle things to make it all work. I hope!!

My crocheting is coming along in leaps and bounds and I have discovered that what I thought was knitting's plain little sister, is in fact, freaking awesome and quickly becoming my craft of choice! I have spent quite a few nights wishing that sleep was optional so I could just keep crocheting all night. I am making a blanket, some socks and granny squares for Pip's Granny a day project (see a few posts down for info on that).

Well this post is getting too long and I am looking at it thinking I should do about four different posts for all the different things I am writing about... but I can't be bothered so I'm going to click publish now.

Caine's Arcade- thanks for sharing Pip!

I just stumbled across this wonderful video whilst browsing Pip's Meet Me at Mike's blog

This has totally made my day! Please take the time to sit down for 10 minutes and enjoy this gorgeous video.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Meet Me At Mikes- A Granny A Day!!

Meet Me at Mikes

I am participating in

Ooh! I'm so excited!!! Anyone want to join me?? 

I am going to take the opportunity to learn new crochet techniques and get a little bit fancy! How exciting!!

Here are some great granny square links brought to you by The Striped Deck Chair

And HERE is one for cute cute cute crochet flowers!!

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Easy crochet Easter eggs..

Check out these cute Easter eggs! I'm going to whip up a few more of these over the next week and add them to the Easter egg hunt!

The pattern is available here: Petals to Picots- Crocheted Easter Eggs

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Weight Watchers

I just made a spur of the moment decision to sign up for Weight Watchers Online. I have used the old system and had good success with it so I am looking forward to having a look at all the tools and tracking using their new(ish) ProPoints system. 

I am feeling really fat and blahhhh at the moment so hopefully this will give me a bit of a boost.

So far so good

I was told to prepare for a few months of craziness after getting the Mirena IUD inserted. I was told my moods may be crazy, I might get some weird bleeding and that I may be a little spaced out and loopy. I had prepared myself for this but to my pleasant surprise, 3 weeks on, it's all totally fine so far!

On the day of insertion I felt quite crampy and sore and had some bleeding over the next few days but since then I have felt perfectly fine with just a little intermittent light spotting. Hopefully there are no other issues from here on.

Funny story, I walked into the doctor's surgery all ready to have the procedure done. I sat down, all psyched up to have my lady bits messed with and handed him the prescription for the IUD (that I had been given at the last appointment with no other instructions). He looked confused for a moment and then informed me that I needed to go and BUY the IUD from the pharmacy and that he would wait while I ran two blocks down the street to get it. Nothing like a run to clear the head! I forgot all my nerves and was really relaxed when it was finally time to have it put in. This, unfortunately, is typical of me.. ho-hum..

Saturday, 25 February 2012

The post where I talk about contraception..

Here's some adorable kitties for you to look at while I explain that this post  is about contraception.
Disclaimer: I talk about things that may make you go "eeeew".. I also ask that if you disagree with my choice, please don't try to freak me out in the comments. I know all the risks and am making an informed choice. Thank you for your consideration.. lol

I went to the doctor yesterday for one of those "woman thingys" that we need to do every couple of years but never enjoy.. you know.. one of those. Anyway, I also wanted to talk about contraception options as we have been using barrier contraceptives since the wee man was born and it was becoming annoying. It's hard enough to get in the mood without... anyway, I digress.

In the past I have used oral contraceptives. Lots of different types. All of which made me feel quite depressed. Even the magic "YAZ" pill that everyone raves about made me feel really off. So I made a decision that oral contraceptives are not for me. Before Richie was born I had not used any hormonal contraceptives for a year.

A few of my friends have had "Implanon" inserted under their skin. Some find it good, others had it removed after experiencing bad side effects. This method freaks me out for some reason and after having bad reactions to the pill I am certain that this method would be all kinds of wrong for me.

The rhythm method is all good in theory but not quite effective enough for me to trust it.

So have decided to get an IUD inserted- more specifically, the Mirena. I go in next Friday to have it put in. I know there are risks associated with IUDs (going through the wall of the uterus being one of the most freaky ones- it's unlikely, but does occasionally happen) however I feel it is the right decision for my body and current situation. The good thing about them is that they can be easily removed if I want it out and there is no waiting for fertility to return if we want to try for another baby (not likely). I will have up to 5 years of contraceptive protection for $5 (concession price). The hormonal response works locally so will not cause many of the side effects that the pill causes. A few friends who have them have reported that they had a few months of weird periods, spotting and "adjusting" but after that, feel nothing and have light periods and no crazy hormonal fluctuations through their cycle.

What contraception do you use (if any)? Any advice? Please remember my disclaimer above... lol

Mirena IUD

Monday, 20 February 2012

Day one of the rest of my life... That could the title of every post!

After just two full days of good food, lots of water and one workout I am already feeling more balanced and hopeful about my health, fitness and mental health.

I just got home from an energising workout and I am planning a pretty early night so I can do it all again tomorrow.

Out of interest I weighed myself this morning after a super clean day yesterday and had gone from 90.7kg to 89.5kg. So that's encouraging!

Please indulge me while I share my food diary (this is more for me than anything.. Public food diaries really keep me honest. Skip it if it bores you)

B. fresh juice- celery, cucumber, beetroot, apple, ginger, carrot

S. skim latte

L. Small Sumo Salad- 1/2 miso chicken, 1/2 leafy beetroot & pumpkin

S. 1 slice bread w/strawberry jam

D. Grilled Moroccan chicken with 2 baby potatoes, broccoli & grilled zucchini. 10 grapes.

Exercise- weights & elliptical- 1 hour

Pics: Me in a pretty dress yesterday & my sweaty post-workout face!
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