Archive for December 2008

 

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My Boy and His Wheels

30 December 2008

My Boy and His Wheels

My 3.5yo son can now ride a bike without training wheels! He’s been riding a bike with trainer wheels for about a year before now. But now, he can balance it all by himself!

We didn’t really pushed the idea on him. We just waited until he showed some interest, and asked to ride “the wobbly bike” by himself. He did so well on his first go! Yeeps, I’m gushing with pride!

On reflection, as a parent, I actually believe these experiences are better the second time around.

Of course, his big brother did the same thing 2 years earlier. And of course I was gushing with pride then. But I distinctly remember being completely intoxicated and floored by the whole NEW-ness and FIRST-ness of the event. I was bubbling over with excitement and terror.

And after you’ve experience that feeling, I guess, there’s always that little speck of fear that these kind of childhood milestones might lose their charm after you’ve seen it once.

This time, with my second child, my perspective was much different.

This time, I was struck by how this achievement made my son feel. I saw how excited, confident and proud HE was.

The fact that he had done this “big boy thing” made him glow with inner strength. He knew he had conquered something difficult… and man, it made him feel good.

The joy was all over his face and it just made me fall in love with him all over again.

My Boy and His Wheels


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 13 – Baby Brain

29 December 2008

I’ve got a serious case of baby brain.

I’ve been doing the STUPIDEST things. I’ve left my credit card with cashiers. Put my keys in the wrong places. Done, and said the dumbest things.

Sometimes when I’m talking to someone, my brain will have a hard time processing the conversation. I can feel it chugging along slowly, stopping, restarting, then push along again. Slowly.

Sometimes I will think of a question, begin to ask it, then realise that I have forgotten my question… so I fumble around with my sentence trying to recover it. Only to then admit that I’ve lost my train of thought. It’s very embarrassing.

But the most problematic setback I’ve found, so far, is being unable to multi-task.

Usually I can juggle at least 4 jobs at once.

I can turn on the washing machine… then while the machine fills up, I can start baking a batch of cookies. On my way back to the laundry, I can defrost dinner from the freezer, throw the rubbish out, swing past my son’s room to help him with something, cut the cookies, throw them into the oven, wipe down the kitchen bench top and dinner table, turn on the sprinklers, hang up the washing, turn off the sprinklers.. etc etc etc.

But with BABY BRAIN… I have to do ONE THING AT A TIME.

I can’t cope with anything more. One task. Then another.

It’s so inefficient. Now I know how it feels to be a man!

If I try to tackle anything more, I’ll mix everything up, and I’ll end up slumped on the floor crying at my own stupidity – like putting a plastic bowl in a hot oven, or pouring fabric softener in the cake mix.

I am absolutely frustrated with myself!

WHERE ARE MY BRAIN CELLS??


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Trying to Look Festive in Summer

26 December 2008

I remember being a kid during Christmas time. The weather used to be BAKING HOT. All we wanted to do was pour iced drinks on our heads and jump into the pool to cool down.

We hung around in our bathers and bikinis all day!

This year, the Christmas weather has not been so ferocious. It’s been hanging at a GORGEOUS 28-29C. So it allowed for a bit more formal attire during the Christmas festivities.

I thought I’d wear my red dress and silver shoes again. Coincidently, my two good girlfriends turned up wearing almost exactly the same thing! We thought it was quite cute.

Red Dresses for Christmas

Boxing Day GreensOn the more casual side of things…

This is me on Boxing Day, in my festive, spotty green, baby bump.

This year, I thought I’d create a new tradition:

The Boxing Day Left-Over Party!

I invited a bunch of friends, with their kids, to bring all their left-over turkey, ham, seafood, salads, shortbread and chocolates for lunch.

We had a play in the garden with bubbles, bikes, scooters, sand pit, water, balls, and totem tennis!

The kids had such a great time.

I was planning to whip out the paddle pool, but the wind suddenly picked up, and everyone got hungry.

Basically, everyone hung around for hours, with no actual agenda, just lazily lounging around, chatting, talking, playing and assembling Christmas presents.

It worked out really well in the end, I was really pleased.

We still had so much food left over!

(We had to have ham pizza for dinner.)


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Christmas 2008

25 December 2008

xmas2008_boys

This Christmas, I’m feeling as happy and content as I’ve ever felt in my life. I’m not sure what it is. I’m just so relaxed and quietly satisfied about everything.

The last few days, we have been visiting zillions of friends and family, and I feel truly blessed to know all these people, and be part of their lives somehow.

xmas2008_dinner

We had my side of the family come over for Christmas Eve dinner. There were 7 adults and 4 little kids. We ate a delicious meal, and there was much merriment over presents and dessert.

xmas2008_meboys

On Christmas morning, we went to church. More food, more presents, and more chatter and merriment. We zipped home for a nap.

Then we were off again to dinner with my husband’s family – where there was even more delicious food, more presents, a Christmas pinata, and more family merriment.

Amongst the craziness, there was a moment where I sat back in bewilderment.

I looked back at all my other Christmases… where, sure, the format has been pretty much the same. There were the same people, the same frills, same events, same busy activities, same food and same indulgence… so what made this Christmas so special? Why was I glowing with happiness?

Perhaps I remembered that all these Christmas festivities are not meant to be SPECIAL in themselves.

The special-ness came from within.

And everyday gives us the opportunity to look for this special-ness, and then choose happiness.

So here’s me, wishing you all a wonderful time with friends and family.

I really hope everyone manages to find a moment this Christmas to sit back and discover happiness all over again.


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Just Add Soap

23 December 2008

Sean (3.5yo) Cleaning the Toliet

My project for today was to clean the toilets and bathrooms – in preparation for our up-coming Christmas parties.

Usually I plonk my boys in front of a DVD, because it’s so much easier and faster if I do these things by myself. But today, my boys really wanted to help. So with a sigh of reluctance, I let them.

I gave them a bucket of soap, a brush and let them loose. My goodness. They had so. Much. Fun. I couldn’t believe it. They were cleaning for almost 2 hours. Of corse, they got completely wet in the end, but hey, the toilets and bathrooms were sparkling!

I think the funniest bit was watching my 5.5yo do a kind of break-dancing tumble in the bath, because he wanted to polish it with the clothes on his body.


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Weekend of Christmas Overload!

22 December 2008

Church Christmas Concert 2008 - Callum

This weekend, we have had an endless procession of Christmas parties, Christmas BBQs, Christmas lunches, and Christmas concerts. And I’ve been REALLY enjoying the madness!

Highlights:

My 5.5 year old fell into a swimming pool. A 17 year old, with a mobile phone in her pocket, dived in and grabbed him.

I ate the most amazing spiced cous cous and apricot salad.

My kids have watched Madagascar on DVD about 6 times in the space of 3 days.

The boys have been singing their own rude version of Christmas carols – “We wish you a Merry Poo Poo and a Happy New Bum”.

My 3.5 year old can now ride his bike without his training wheels!

My 5.5 year old sang in a church Christmas concert. Kind of.


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Fashion Show – Curtin University “Line-Up”

20 December 2008

Fashion Show - Curtin University “Line-Up”

I was at the recent Curtin University Fashion and Textiles graduate show. I have been to a couple in past years, but this one was quite unlike anything I have seen before!

True to fashion’s role as “theatre”, rather than just a parade of clothes, the whole event was part catwalk show, and part exhibition/performance art.

Guests wandered through a series of little contemporary-art style performance scenes, which of course were all showcasing the various student’s garments. One or two had live models as the mannequins – which gave them quite a job, as they had to stand perfectly still all night!

Fashion Show - Curtin University “Line-Up”

Adding to the atmosphere was the venue, the grim confines of Fremantle prison, built in Victorian times, but still operating as recently as the 1990s. It’s now a cultural heritage museum.

The catwalk show itself was as good as anything I have seen recently, and there was plenty of stuff that went from eye catching to immediately wearable.

Fashion Show - Curtin University “Line-Up”

The Curtin Fashion and Textiles has a reputation amongst Perth designers as the course where students are given freedom to experiment with aesthetics and materials, and this was impressively demonstrated by this work by Ruby Mariani, where the train of this dress seems to be melting onto the floor. Totally un-wearable, of course, but a girl can dream!

Fashion Show - Curtin University “Line-Up”


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 12 – 1st Trimester Scan

19 December 2008

I can’t believe it’s the end of my first trimester already.

Making Baby 3 - Ultrasound 12 Weeks

My 12 week scan goes really well.

As the doctor rolled the ultrasound wand over my belly, I could see all the bones in the baby’s legs, the form of the arms and roundness of the body.

The images were so clear. I was really amazed.

In fact, I was so amazed by how much detail there was, I asked the two female doctors in the room, “Can you tell the sex of the baby at this stage??”

The doctors perked up and dropped their professional persona, “Officially we can’t. It’s too early to tell. But we love to guess!!”

They chatted on about how they like to place bets based on their combined 30+ years of experience.

They excitedly moved in on the screen, and started mumbling about the angle of the pelvis versus the size of the something, and the width and length of the something else.

One doctor said, “I think it’s a GIRL!”

But the other doctor exclaimed, “NO! It’s definitely a BOY!”

So they argued for a few minutes, each trying to explain their own conclusions, while I laughed, “I bet you guys do this on purpose! Ah what a scam!”

So I left the scan, not caring at all whether the baby was a boy or girl – but deeply reassured that the baby was healthy, strong and growing well.

I’m so excited!


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Oh Christmas Tree!

18 December 2008

Christmas Tree 2008

So I’ve been a lot more organised with my Christmas preparations this year. I’m very proud of myself.

Despite my morning sickness and pregnancy brain, I managed to set up the tree in November! But it was not without drama…

I announced to my sons, that we were going to set up the Christmas tree one morning – without really thinking it through.

We skipped out to the shed, pulled out the tree box, swept all the cobwebs off it, and dragged it into the house.

I brought out all my shoe boxes of Christmas decorations, all the tinsel, beads, and lights. The boys were sooooooooooo excited. They were literally falling over themselves, jumping, grabbing and snatching everything. I had a very hard time trying to calm them down.

I started to wrap the lights around the tree, carefully winding 50m of wire through each branch. IT TOOK FOREVER. All the while the boys were going crazy with excitement, like blood thirsty sharks.

After something like 15 minutes, at last, the tree was ready to be decorated.

We had a lovely time putting up all the decorations! It’s always one of my favourite Christmas experiences. This year our colour theme is red, silver and lime green.

When the last star was in place. We sat back and had a look at our masterpiece. I plugged the lights in, flicked on the wall switch.

Nothing. No Christmas lights.

ARGH! THE LIGHTS WERE BROKEN! I felt so stupid that I didn’t check they worked before I started!

So do you know what I did?

I took off every single Christmas decoration. I unwrapped the whole set of lights. I threw the children into the car. I drove to Target. I dragged my children through the Christmas shopping madness. I bought new lights. I came home. Wrapped on the new lights. Threw all the ornaments back on again. Plonked on the star. Turned on the lights. And sat back, a little dazed by my own insanity and stupidity.

An hour later, my husband came home. I informed him that the old lights didn’t work – in a tone that suggested that it might have been his fault. After all, he was in charge of putting the lights away last Christmas.

He wandered off to investigate.

Seconds later, he called me into the living room. He had fixed the “broken” lights.

They were all working! Every little globe was shinning brightly! What the!

He reached down and flicked the switch ON THE CABLE, like on a lamp.

On. Off. On. Off. On. Off.

Grrr. He was wise enough to say absolutely nothing.


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Girls Night Out: Christmas Dinner

17 December 2008

Girls Night Out: Christmas DinnerThis year I organised a Christmas Dinner for all the mothers at my son’s Pre-primary school. We’re a big, friendly bunch, and we’re all pretty close.

We voted for dinner to be held at a local bar and bistro. I had never been there before, but I trusted everyone else’s opinion.

That evening, I thought I’d be a bit silly and wear something festive! It would have been fine, except…

I arrived at the place 15 minutes early. I figured that since I organised the event, I should be there first.

But I didn’t know where the correct entrance was, so found myself wondering around the bar – the LOCAL SUBURBAN BAR.

The place was COMPLETELY PACKED with blue collar workmen, having all their end of week Christmas drinks, playing pool and watching the football on big screen televisions.

And here I was. Wearing a MISS SANTA OUTFIT, SPARKLY SILVER HEELS AND HOLDING A BAG FULL OF GOODIES!! I got waaay too many stares.

Walk faster! Walk faster!

CRAP everyone must think I’m the Christmas performer who gives out presents!! Or the singer!! Or even worse, the stripper!!

Make no eye contact. Make no eye contact.

I walked very fast from one end of the room to the other. Only to find a locked door, then I walked through the room again. Then around once more.

A nervous young man, from the bar staff, approached me and asked whether he could help me? Was someone was expecting me? Because the band was scheduled for 9:30pm, and management were not aware of any other events

I could have died from embarrassment!

ARGH! NO! I’M JUST HERE FOR DINNER!

Thank goodness he led me to the correct door to the bistro.

After that, I learnt my lesson and left the Santa hat for after dinner.


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Fashion Find: Sexy Tuxedo Look

16 December 2008

Tuxedo Look

I have always loved the look of men’s clothing on women. It’s so sexy.

Perhaps not so much the androgenous look. I’m talking about classic tuxedoes, jackets, vests and men’s shirts that are cut to fit the curves of a woman’s body, and worn with attitude. Yum!

These are from Urban Outfitters. I must give it a go next autumn.


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Cooking with Kids: Mushroom Soup

15 December 2008

Cooking with Kids - Mushroom SoupLast week, I mentioned that I have started a weekly cooking session with my 5.5yo son.

How it works – At the beginning of the week, he tells me what he wants to cook for dinner. I buy the ingredients, and on a designated day, we make it together (or I help him make it). Quite simple.

It’s been going really well. He actually likes hanging out with me in the kitchen.

This week he wanted to make: Mushroom Soup. I have no idea where he got the idea that mushroom soup might be tasty. But I decided to just go with it.

Cooking with Kids - Mushroom Soup

Homemade Mushroom Soup

400g of button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
60g of butter
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 small garlic clove, chopped finely
1.5L of homemade chicken stock
150ml cream
salt and pepper to taste

1) Gently cook onion and garlic in butter, until brown. About 10 minutes.
2) Add mushrooms, stir for 10-15 minutes.
3) Add chicken stock. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
4) Stir in the cream.
5) Use a hand blender (or food processor) to blend the soup into a smooth consistency.
6) Done! Eat hot with crusty bread.

Cooking with Kids - Mushroom Soup

Even though my son was supposed to cook, I actually did a bit more work with this recipe. I chopped the onions, because they made his eyes hurt. And I used the hand blender to blend up the soup, because it was really hot and splashy!

We made fresh wholemeal spelt + seed loaf to eat with the soup.

Overall, it was a simple meal, it was very easy to make and my goodness, it was SO DELICIOUS! We had none left at the end!


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Summer Bark

14 December 2008

Summer Bark

Summer is here, and the trees know it.

In Australia, trees don’t lose their leaves in winter – they lose their bark in summer. Well some do anyway.

The arrival of the first heat makes them shed their skins like snakes. And it’s just gorgeous.

Summer Bark

It looks like the bark is slowly being burned off as it cracks, and then curls up at the edges, revealing a brand new, fresh, pale yellow skin underneath.

As the new skins cure in the heat and air, they ripple through an amazing colour spectrum of purples, greens and greys.

By February, the tress will have finished shedding their bark, and will have new skins that are so smooth, they look like twisting human bodies.

Today my kids and I collected some fallen bark. We drew on them, tumbled them together in a bowl and displayed them proudly on our shelf. I just love crafty nature projects.


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Making baby 3: Pregnancy Week 11 – Argh! I Need Maternity Clothes!

12 December 2008

I Need Maternity Clothes!As I look back on my two pregnancies, I believe I did something rather silly – I made it my MISSION to spend very little money on maternity clothes.

I wore my usual clothes until they didn’t fit. Then I bought cheap jeans, tops and skirts from Target in a few big sizes.

The result was that I ruined all my usual clothes (they stretched and went all loose in the tummy area) and all the cheap clothes stretched, faded and didn’t last.

So I’m absolutely KICKING MYSELF that I didn’t spend the money in the first place and invest in some nice and proper maternity clothes!

I should have at least bought some stuff in classic styles, basic colours, and some everyday staples, like jeans.

Now it’s 3.5years on and I don’t have anything to wear – especially just normal, everyday clothes. I’m irritated that I have to go spend money on more cheap tops and skirts!

I should have had a little bit more foresight, especially since I knew I was going to have more than one kid!

A few weeks ago I started a hunt for some online maternity shops. I also asked lots of my friends for recommendations. I was looking for maternity boutiques with a great selection of basic wear, or who stocked really nice dresses and evening wear, or sold stuff at really good prices.

I tested out a few boutiques – and I sent lots of stuff back, as I wasn’t crazy about the price, quality or service, thus I wasn’t happy to recommend them on.

But I’ve managed to find a few really great ones too! And over the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring them on my site.

So I’m asking any mothers out there, do you know of any great online maternity shops? One that you’d be really happy to recommend?

I’d love to hear from you!

This is me showing off my bump in my “usual clothes”.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Fashion Find: Sassi Sam

11 December 2008

My inner girl squeaked with delight when I found Sassi Sam, an online shop full of fun and girlie gift ideas.

Sassi Sam Products

I selected a few products and created a gift pack for a friend of mine, who’s unashamedly into girlie/pink accessories.

I chose a Handbag Hanger, which hangs on a door, has 7 loops and can hold 2-4 bags on each loop (that’s 28 bags!).  Though I still suspect my friend might need more than one to fit all her handbags!

I also chose the eco-friendly Principessa Aluminium Water Bottle, so she can do away with plastic bottles. It’s a gorgeous design with part of the proceeds going to Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Research.

And the Label Whore necklace design was just too cool! They have a funky range of more Girlie Drama Jewellery, which has a list of celebrity fans – The Veronica’s, Ruby Rose, Bianca Dye and Sarah McLeod.

Sassi Sam Products

I spoke to Sam (owner of Sassi Sam) to ask her a few questions about her products.

The range of t-shirts are high quality cotton, sweat-shop free, made in USA, designed and printed in Australia. It’s very nice material and not the thin see-through kind. As for the jewellery, accessories, beauty range and other products, Sam is determined to stock quality products that last, with a quality look and feel.

She also has a nice range of exclusive Pink Ribbon Products – supporting the fight against breast cancer, which is just excellent!

Pictured above: Bad Hair Day T-shirt, Sugar Luxe compact mirror, Silver Live Wire Necklace and Principessa Aluminium Water Bottle.


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Learning to Write

10 December 2008

Sean's Name

My 3.5yo son has recently learnt how to write his name.

I have no idea if this is early or late in childhood development. I’m not a very pushy parent in this regard. I’m confident my kids will learn to read and write in their own time, and there’s no point forcing it onto them when they aren’t ready or interested.

And right now, my Sean has definitely been ensnared by this writing thing.

Names on Door, by Sean

He especially loves making SIGNS and sticky taping them around the house.

He came up to me the other day and whispered…

“Psst. Mum! Do robbers read?”

“Um. Yes!” I whispered back.

“Oh good. I made a sign for them. No stealing. We should be safe now!”


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On Dining Out and Being a Cook

9 December 2008

Dining Out and Being a CookThe other week we received a gift voucher for a very well known restaurant in Perth.

I have always suspected that this particular restaurant was more famous for its view, rather than its menu.

Nonetheless, that evening, I was twinkling with excitement at the thought of having a fine dining experience and eating a nice dinner with my husband. On a date!

When I go out, I like to order dishes that I don’t usually make at home – that is, a dish with more complicated combinations of foods and ingredients.

Now I don’t profess to be a gourmet chef or fine dining critic. But I like to cook, and I cook a lot. I know how to mix flavours and fresh ingredients. I know how to spot poor quality fish, and slightly old vegetables.

So I believe I can adequately judge a boring dish, from something that will send me into a vein tingling state of pleasure.

Dining Out and Being a Cook

First up, soft shell crab with cumin salt and ginger dipping sauce. The batter could have been a little more crunchy, but it tasted quite nice.

Dining Out and Being a Cook

Second, Atlantic salmon with celeriac and lime puree. I don’t know what I was thinking. My husband laughed when it arrived.

I made exactly this dish for my family a few nights ago! I picked up some salmon for $5 per piece at my local fish shop, and now I’m paying $40 to eat it again at a fancy restaurant. Oh well. We had a good laugh about it.

We had a few side dishes and dessert. Not amazing enough to rave about. But overall, I had a lovely evening with my husband. Which is all that matters, when you don’t have to pay for dinner.


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My Organic Garden – Strawberry, Lettuce, Capsicum

8 December 2008

Photos from My Organic Garden

Photos from My Organic Garden

Photos from My Organic Garden


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Making Baby 3, Pregnancy Week 10 – All Day Sickness

6 December 2008

I don’t have morning sickness. I have the under-represented pregnancy ailment called ALL-DAY SICKNESS.

Ok. I suppose I know some women who throw up 10 times a day, who have to be hospitalised and constantly monitored. My pregnancy is not going that bad.

I just feel terrible all day. And every hour or so , I’ll feel a build up of dizziness, light-headedness, nausea and tiredness.

But I’ve discovered there are lots of things that I can do to make myself feel better – exercise, eating, doing a hands-on project, or dressing-up to go somewhere different. It keeps my mind off feeling sick and somehow it just works.

So I’ve been managing my body and activities like a hawk. I’ve been saying NO to lots of up-coming activities and commitments. I’ve been keeping a light schedule, simple daily goals, and staying far away from things that might make me stressed or emotional.

I’m just completely focused on keeping myself together.


Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Fashion Fundraiser – Hidden Treasures

5 December 2008

Hidden Treasures Fashion Event

A big interest of mine is fundraising for cancer awareness and research, so I was delighted to see this novel event organised by the Perth fashion industry.

Hidden Treasures is a one-day only event that transforms a public hall into a very large boutique, with about twenty different designer labels on display at up to 70% off! The proceeds are going to the Breast Cancer Foundation of WA to promote early detection and prevention of breast cancer.

Designer labels up for grabs – Joveeba, Gospel, i67, Megan Salmon, She Said Yoo Hoo, Story By Tang, Zanthus, Katya, Elsie-Jean, Lilly Pilly, Bim Kenesis, Tu, Katou, Adam Wore Short Pants, Murr Jewelry, Loop, Generics, Justin Unicorn, designer fabric lengths from $4 and a selection of hand picked vintage pieces.

There will be dresses, blouses, shorts, skirts, shoes, bags, belts, jewellery and a selection of vintage clothing and accessories all on sale in this novel fashion experience. It will be big, colourful and good for your boobs – a perfect Sunday outing!

I’ll be there, so if you see me, please say HI!

When: 10:00am – 4:00pm, Sunday, December 7, 2008

Location: Royal Park Hall, Corner of Vincent and Charles Street, North Perth

Image credits: Left – Blue Joveeba Ruffle Dress, She Said Yoo Hoo white Dress worn underneath, Justin Unicorn Necklace, Vintage Denim Belt. Right – Pink Katya Wrap Dress worn as top, Zanthus Skirt, Zanthus Rosette as belt, Murr Necklace.


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Fashion Find: Rootote Bag Sale for Christmas

4 December 2008

Rootote Bags

A little birdy told me that the Rootote Online Store is having a Christmas Sale – $10 off when you order $50 Australian dollars and over (which is only about US$32). Makes Christmas present hunting very easy!

Top row – Luxe Border, Leaf, Luxe Dot, Ruban.

Bottom row – Berry, Wave, Dot, Gras.

Just enter the code ROOGIFT10 at the checkout to get the $10 off.

Not to mention, there’s free Shipping within Australia, and flat rate of AUD$12 to Singapore, Malaysia, USA, NZ and Europe. Enjoy!


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Bug Catching

3 December 2008

Butterfly

To finish off their lessons on INSECTS, my 3.5yo had a Bring-A-Bug day at his kindergarten the other day.

We spent all morning hunting for a bugs in the garden – but found none. I felt like such a crap mother. I don’t know why I couldn’t find a cool bug. Maybe it was just the wrong time of day to be catching bugs.

I ended up catching an ANT for him.

I put it in a container and I tried to convince him how cool ants were. We put sticks, leaves, dirt and rocks into the container, to make the ant feel more at home.

Thankfully my husband came home that afternoon and – lo and behold – our garden was teaming with life.

In 2 minutes, he found a “yellow butterfly”, which he gently cupped and added to our ant environment.


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FashionJunkee Dresses (and Maternity Dresses)

2 December 2008

With my waistline expanding, I’ve been looking for some maternity wear to accomodate my changing shape over the next several months. But I also want them to look pretty stylish.

I am already a fan of FashionJunkee, and most of their dresses and tops are made from that soft, stretchy, cottony material – comfy, breathable, and clings to all the right places.

So I got my hands on some gorgeous styles that I could wear as a normal dress and as a maternity dress. I’m so happy with them. Plus they are cheaper than many “proper” maternity dresses.

Clothes from Fashion Junkee

I wore the magenta dress to a salon launch event the other day. It was the first time I wore a such “hot” dress with my growing baby bump.

One side of my head was going “Hey if I’ve got a bump, I should show it off!” and the other side was saying “I know I’m PREGNANT, but I look BIG in this dress! Will people even realise that I’m pregnant??”. So I must admit, I felt a little timid as I arrived at the event.

But I got compliments! Random people were coming up to me and saying wow you’re pregnant, you look great, what a great dress etc. It was a bit weird being labelled “that pregnant woman” at the party. But heh, it made me happy.

So I wore the mocha dress (right) to a fashion show a few days later, and again I received nice comments!

Clothes from Fashion Junkee

These styles above are more everyday and casual. The teal one has been perfect for throwing on when I rush out the door to pick up the boys from school, or just hanging around at home on a hot afternoon. Stretchy and so comfy.

The black one is much more versatile, making it easy to dress it up or down, for day time or night.

Clothes from Fashion Junkee

I adore this grey dress because it doubles as a long top! Ah, it’s SO comfy and breathable. I’d wear it more often, but haha I’m so embarrassed when people point it out more than once. I might have to get some similar styles in different colours now.

Check out the whole range of off-shoulder tops / mini dresses. I have the short sleeve one in grey.

This rouched-sleeve one also looks really nice.

Clothes from Fashion Junkee

I really admire FashionJunkee for being such a charity conscious and globally aware company. So I also got two cool t-shirts for my boys. Sean wears the Vintage World Peace Tee by LollipopZen. Callum wears the Omni Peace t-shirt by Signorelli (50% of procreeds go to charity).

They have a charity page where they sell t-shirts, tops and tanks by Signorelli, with proceeds going to Omni Peace & Children’s Health Fund tees. Very cool.


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Cooking with Kids: Making Homemade Hamburgers

1 December 2008

After my husband initiated a heap of outdoor, boy-projects for the kids, I really felt that I was missing out on connecting with my sons.

I read somewhere that by the age of 9, children should be able to prepare a meal for the whole family. Now I LIKE THAT IDEA. I like the idea of raising young men who can cook a 3 course meal by the age of 17.

So. I have set up a once-a-week session where I help my 5.5 year old son make dinner for the family. A meal of his choice.

Tonight he chose homemade hamburgers.

Cooking with Kids - Homemade Hamburgers

Beef Hamburger Patties

500g lean mince beef
1 medium brown onion, chopped
1 tablespoon of parsley
1 egg
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1 tablespoon of Worchester Sauce
salt and pepper

1. Use a food processor to chop onion, parsley and 1/3 portion of beef.
2. Throw processed mixture into a bowl, add rest of beef, egg, flour, sauce, good seasoning of salt and pepper.
3. Mush it up and mix well with your hands and fingers!
4. Divide mixture into 6 balls.
5. Cut out large squares of baking paper and press beef balls into patties, about 1.5 cm thick.
6. Wrap it up in cling wrap and put in fridge for 30 minutes.

Cooking with Kids - Homemade Hamburgers

7. Fry on a lightly oiled pan for a few minutes, until cooked.
8. Assemble hamburger!

Hamburger Makings

Round hamburger buns
Lettuce (from my garden!)
Tomatoes
Sliced onions
Avocado
Grated tasty cheese

Cooking with Kids - Homemade Hamburger

My son did really well throughout the whole preparation and cooking process. He plucked and washed the lettuce. Cut up the avocado. Grated the cheese. Buttered the buns. He even fried the patties quite well.

I treated the whole session like I was just helping him out. So I didn’t have that tense STRESSFUL build up of patience and frustration inside me. It was more like I was trusting his ability and allowing him to grow up. I showed him how to do something, showed him how it might go wrong, give him a few safety tips, and just LET HIM DO IT.

As he was frying the patties. I was laughing to myself, thinking – You’d better get used to this buddy, when you’re 15, you’ll be flipping burgers to earn your pocket money.

Cooking with Kids - Homemade Hamburgers

They turned out really well! They were yummy and healthy!