Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fashionable and Fabulous Friday (on a Saturday. Again)

It's summer.

It's hot.

We may be hit by a cyclone tonight.

That about sums up the focus of our lives right now. So what shall we do? Batten down the hatches? Prepare emergency food, water and torches?


Not me. I take photos of what I'm wearing instead. Priorities, you know.

Silk camisole top, little black shorts and high heels are mandatory cyclone weather fashion in my book.

Just because one's hair might get a little messy in 120kph cyclonic winds, doesn't mean the rest of you should look a mess.

Standards, people, standards.

Ok, seriously now, I think that's enough trivialities for the moment. I'm off to pretend I know what I'm doing for cyclone preparedness.

Such as prepare my outfit for tonight.

I have to look good in case the State Emergency Services show up if our roof blows off, you know.

Standards and all that.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stress-less or Stress-free?

I apologise for no Fashionable & Fabulous Friday post yesterday. Life has been too..... hectic, distracting and unfullfilling lately.

I've noticed my tension increasing, the clench of my jaw tightening, that tell tale sign of stress within me.

I don't want to feel like this.

Surely there is more to life than the hamster wheel of work, house, kids and commitments?

I want to stress less. No. Scratch that. I want to be stress free.

I found myself needing something, something that's been missing. Then I realised.

I haven't meditated in such a long time.

I've let the distractions of the mundane duties of life... well, I've let them distract me from the moments that make me smile and relax.

So I took a quiet moment to go back to The Meditation Society of Australia website, and restart the free meditation course they offer.

Within minutes the tension had eased.

Eased but not yet gone. I think that will take a little more time and consistency. But it's a start.

The lesson I did was titled 'The Meaning of Life' and was just so fitting for how I've been feeling lately. Here's a short extract :

Wisdom is simple; it is knowledge that craves complexity.

One of the main sources of stress is not having clear life directions or goals. So often we are caught by the urgent things in our lives – our material responsibilities and day-to-day struggles – that they create their own vicious cycle within our minds. This is what we may know as the 'tension loop’.

The 'tension loop' confuses meaning with movement.

Just like a computer, the mind processes data from many sources. The more programs you run in a computer, the less time it can spend on each program before having to go and process a little more of the next. The time the computer spends switching from program to program makes the computer run slower and slower until it may break down or stop.

The mind works in the same way. Only our programs that run around in circles using up the minds resources are our fears, anxieties, doubts and worries. As we run out of resources, the mind (unlike a computer) speeds up. It becomes so involved by the number of things that it has to do that it spends more and more of its time switching from one to the other, drawing us further into the superficial and further away from the analytical and obviously the intuitive or meditative levels. We find that we can’t concentrate for very long, we’re flighty and scattered and it is self-compounding. This 'tension loop' can be permanently transformed only through calming the mind and allowing a deepening of our awareness. We need to identify the negative thought patterns in our lives and transform them into positives. For example, worries are perhaps the most insidious of all negative thought patterns as within the mind they are like a program that loops or is never completed. They use resources, create stress, and are happiest when nothing is ever resolved or an ‘end-point’ reached.

In the end, however, the real problem is not so much that we may be stressed or sick or having a nervous breakdown, the real problem is that we have confused ‘busy-ness’ with our life meaning. Meaningful goals become less and less clearly identified.

If like me you've felt stressed and overwhelmed by the demands of an everyday, modern life, then please feel free to take a quick look at the website and maybe even listen to one of the short, free meditations they offer.

Trust me, you'll feel better for it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's For Dinner Wednesdays

Dinner is much more of a challenge when you have teenage boys in the house.

It usually starts about 10.30 in the morning...

"Mum, what's for dinner tonight?".

I mean, wow, they've only just had breakfast, it's still around 8 hours till dinner time, but they have to check that you haven't by some remote chance forgotten about dinner.

As if I ever could.

Any guesses as to what I'm making with the following ingredients?

Yes? No?

Ok. Is this a bit more of a clue?

That's right!

Homemade hamburgers.

Definitely a favourite around here. They have been lovingly nicknamed: 'Big Mama's Burgers'.

Hmmm..... is that a compliment?

(This is a big person's size burger. Look at the first photo again and you'll see a little round mini size patty about to be flattened and cooked especially for Charlie!)

The fact that they're requested again and again tells me that they must taste good.

I use beef mince and add in egg, breadcrumbs and what ever takes my fancy at the time. A variation much loved by Corey, is the Chicken Burger, with crumbed chicken replacing the beef patty.

I suppose you've all guessed by now that I'm not what you would call a 'method cook'.

More like a throw it all together and hope for the best type of cook.

Thankfully, I can usually pull it off.

Well, Kaiden seems to be enjoying his burger.

And we have the thumbs up approval from Corey.

So, another successful dinner made.

Only 16 hours till the pressures on, and the questions start again.

"What's for dinner, mum?........"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The 'I'm too Busy to Write So Here Are Some Photos' series

I was looking back through some old photos recently and just for the hell of it, I'd thought I'd share with you all!

Whether you like it or not.

My dearly missed sports car nicknamed "Black Betty" who I had to give up when I became pregnant with Charlie as I could no longer get in and out of it.
Plus there was no room for a baby seat.

The sacrifices we make for our kids. *sigh*

18 December 2005. One of the happiest days of my life.

The feeling of bliss and contentment I had as I stepped out the church will stay with me forever.

In the arms of my beloved husband at our reception.


6 months pregnant with Charlie.

I just loved being pregnant, I seem to be quite good at it!

A proud & very sleep deprived mama. Charlie was just 5 weeks old.

It's hard to remember he was ever this small!


I hope you all enjoyed this short ramble down (my) memory lane.

And I promise I'll try not to resort to this type of lazy posting again too often.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What's For Dinner Wednesdays

I'm thinking of starting a new themed day, along the lines of Fashionable and Fabulous Fridays, which seem to be popular.

So what does everyone think of 'What's For Dinner Wednesdays'?

I, like a lot of other mums I know, get stuck into the routine of making the same meals over and over again, due to lack of time, planning and ideas. So if we can share some ideas of quick and easy family meals, surely it will add a little inspiration to our cooking lives? Yes?

So, let's kick start this with Risotto. Easy Peasy.

Nothing is more homely to me than a delicious risotto made with love and care.

Everyone in this house loves risotto, so much so that I make a ton of it at once and we have it for lunch and dinner the next day and then freeze the rest.

The little bowl at the front is for Charlie and the other four huge servings are to satisfy the ravenous horde that live here.

Here we have a very basic Chicken Risotto, very simple yet oh so yummy.

Healthy too, which is always a bonus!

I don't follow a recipe as such, and often vary between ingredients such as chicken, mushrooms, onion, basically whatever takes my fancy at the time.

I serve my risotto with cold sugar snap peas on top.

The contrast between the hot and creamy risotto and the nice cold crunchiness of the peas is just divine. You just have to try it!

Please play along and add to the comments what you plan to cook tonight, or something yummy you've recently made. I'd love to hear from you all and get some inspiration for future What's For Dinner Wednesday posts, if they prove a successful addition to this blog.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wakey, wakey sleepy-head

Recently Charlie has become a good sleeper.

I know.

Amazing right?

After 2 years of sleepless nights, with me learning to cope on 4 or 5 hours sleep a night, he finally sleeps. All night and for a nice chunk of time during the day too.

See ......

Sleeping to the point where he doesn't wish to wake up.

Noooo.... I want to sleeeep.

Go away Mama.

I was having lovely sweet baby dreams, I don't want to wake up.

See, I'm sleeping.

Oh, alright. I'll wake up. But I won't be happy.

That's just asking too much.

I'll just roll around in my cot, being grumpy.

But being grumpy isn't as fun as I thought.

Maybe we can play peek-a-boo instead?

That's more like it! Hehehe.

Come on, Mama, it's time to get up now.

One can't just laze around all day.

Hurry up, get me out of here.

I've got things to do, places to be, people to charm.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fashionable and Fabulous Friday - The Heatwave Edition

The recent high temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius mean, even with air conditioning, it's too hot to write.

Not too hot to pose for F&FF photos though!

Without further ado...... here we go for the first of hopefully many 2011 F&FF posts.

Hot mama - in more ways than one!

Short mini skirt previously featured in another recent post, a lovely cool flowing summer top, all finished off with a pair of killer heels. Complete with diamantes.

A girl has to have a bit of sparkle you know.

Gosh, I'm getting big headed over these in demand fashion posts. Hmmm... I need to remedy this quick smart.

Methinks it's time for a 'thoughtful & serious' pose just to establish some credibility as a blog writer (as opposed to a blog poser) .....

There that should do it.


Oh dear. We're back to posing.


Time to bring in my trusty sidekick.

He always adds a certain something to these posts.

Hi Charlie!

And now to finish with the tried, tested and proven winning finale.....

Friday Cuddles.

Have a great weekend everyone and don't forget to be Fashionable and Fabulous!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kids Say the Darndest Things.....

As inspired by Genesis from Expat Mom, I thought I'd bring you my version of Kids Say the Darndest Things.


For some inexplicable reason, Charlie has started playing at being a pirate recently.

He really tries to get the pirate lingo correct, but it doesn't always come out quite right. For example :

"Aarrr, me parties!"

I try not to laugh, he is only 2 after all.


Given the amount of swimming we've been doing lately, due to the 40 degree heat (105 for those in the US), Charlie has been fascinated by swimming goggles.

Endearingly, he has named them 'swimming gobbles'.

Again, I try not to laugh!


I could probably compile a list of things that Charlie says incorrectly, but oh so cutely.

But, instead of boring you all I have one last thing to add.

When we play doctors and ambulances, I always smile when he says with dramatic emphasis :

"Quick, let's go to the hosbibal."


*contented sigh*

If only I could keep him this age forever.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The New Year, and Lots of Lovely Nothingness.

As I sit here typing up this post at my new desk, given to me a Christmas gift from my wonderful husband, I look around my home.

My stylish new desk! I'm almost tempted to start back at work a week early in order to make full use of it. Almost.

And I feel full and content.

Little Charlie is asleep, my two older boys are outside fixing up a scooter so they can ride to the local deli to buy ice cream, my hardworking husband is ... well... out working, and I am luxuriating in the benefits of having an extended period of time off work.

Important work being undertaken.

I can potter around my home to my heart's content, doing a little bit here and there as the mood strikes me, resting and reading as and when I want to. A little bit of swimming here and there with all my boys, much playing of cars and trains with Charlie and lots of indulgent eating is going on around here.

Percy, friend of Thomas.
It seems I'm usually relegated to being Percy, while Charlie stars as Thomas. Only fair I suppose given it's Charlie's production.

This quiet, simple life fills me with joy. It's a wonderful novelty to have two whole weeks off work, and in the summer holidays too.

This may all sound sickeningly sweet and essentially boring, to those of you rushing through your life with so many things pulling you this way and that, to the point where you fall into bed at night exhausted, but my intent is not to inflict my contentedness upon you, but simply to...... hmmm.... express how I'm feeling right now, I guess.

That's what one's own blog is for, right?

The view from my desk.

But I am aware that all too soon, this idyllic summer break will be over for me.

I'll be back to juggling work, children and home. But after a lovely little break such as I've had, my batteries will be fully charged and ready to take on all the little daily challenges life will throw my way, be ready to grasp opportunities to grow as they materialise and be ready to cope with any sleepless nights yet to come.

January has been a wonderful start to what I intentionally predict to be a magnificent year for my family. Under the influence of this Capricorn month, grand and ambitious plans are being laid that will alter our future in most wonderful and fulfilling ways. I look forward to the fruition of our dreams as the year progresses.

(And, no, I'm not pregnant, nor planning to be. Just in case that thought crossed anyone's mind!!!)

View of our 'Library' from my desk.

Kaiden and Corey are on their summer break till February, which means a whole month remains of sleeping late, swimming and lazing around for them.

I envision come the beginning of February, it will be a rude shock for them to have to conform back to the society standard of a life regulated by the clock. Poor dears!

Creative Corey. Made from skateboard and scooter parts.

One thing I'm excited to report is that the power of intention has manifested beautifully in my life recently.

My life is magnificent.

And the more often I say, the more it magnifies the magnificence!

Ask. Believe. Receive. The Secret.

I feel I'm achieving my aim of living in the now, and I'm loving it.

And I sincerely wish the same for all of you.

With all my heart.