Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The pre- baby shower lunch!

When you find out that your sister is having her first baby, it is pretty exciting, so I arranged a little lunch for her prior to her baby shower. I know some, would say , OTT ( over the top) but I am so excited for her, I just want to share in her excitement. 

Berry cake made by Nicky

Brownie slice , thanks to Errin. She got hungry on the 20 minute trip over. Fair enough too, they were to die for.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My sister's baby shower!

I have had a break from the blog for a while, but have to say I have missed it. Wish I had more time to invest. I really do love all the little things. I thoroughly enjoyed having fun with my sister's baby shower. Donna has gorgeous friends of which are very talented in the kitchen, ( Kath!). We had fun, designing a dessert table, white with a hint of red, at Donna's request.

Kath, one of Donna's bridesmaids made the gorgeous berry cupcakes and cake pops.

Baby shower was sponsored by Chandon!

Jannine, made the very tasty caramel slice and meringues.

Guests took home, milk bottles, cake pops and cupcakes.
Went for the hydranga's but sometimes they can come across light green, looked cute though.
 Cookies from Petit So Sweet. Thanks Chris.

Thanks to our friends from Kikki K. Create a page!

The lovely mother to be.
It was such a lovely day.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Friends for dinner...

We had lovely friends for dinner, and what do you serve in winter to compliment a lovely 7 hour fermenting beef casserole, but a yummy sticky date pudding. I followed this recipe, from but did it in muffin tins, and added chocolate buttons to the middle of the puddings. To die for. So easy to make and so yummy.

Sticky date pudding

Sticky date pudding
Photography by Luke Burgess
With winter just a few days away, a sticky date pudding seems like a timely idea!

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 250g pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups White Wings Self-Raising Flour, sifted
  • Caramel sauce

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 60g butter


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a 7cm deep, 22cm (base) cake pan.
  2. Place dates and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Pour over boiling water. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a large metal spoon, fold through date mixture and flour until well combined.
  4. Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Turn onto a plate.
  5. Make sauce Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until sauce comes to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Pierce pudding all over with a skewer. Pour 1/2 cup of warm sauce over warm pudding. Stand for 10 minutes. Cut into wedges. Serve with remaining sauce.

I also purchased these flowers, I have never seem them before, they are like cabbages, and they are a flower from the cabbage family. Not sure what they are called. Very interesting.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What am I going to take to the Trivia night?

Saturday night was the school Trivia night and I was lost for what to take in relation to food. I was surrounded by gourmet cooks, sitting on the table and everything I went to make,  was already catered for. 
I called on my gorgeous nephew's mum Freya who gave me a great idea, in the late hours of Saturday afternoon. She saved the day. 

Mini caesar salads for each person on the table. 
Shredded Cos Lettuce
Bacon - fried off
Bagel garlic crisps - crushed
Parmesan cheese
'Paul Newmans' Casear dressing

It was easy and complimented the other food provided by the other gorgeous girls on the table. I got the red noodle boxes from our local $2 shop with mini forks and mini napkins. Such a easy and great idea when you need something easy to eat, and easy to make. Thanks Freya x

Sunday, May 29, 2011

We need to support our Neighbours!

Recently members of my community in East Bentleigh where I live have come up against all that challenges us. Last week, one of the primary school mum's was having an afternoon sleep with her 6 month old and her 2 year old, just before school pick up, when she was awoken to smoke filling the house. The house went up and took everything in its path. Mum and kids were physically safe, but what this does psychologically is heartbreaking. Everything in the house was destroyed. They have to start from scratch. They have 5 children ranging from 6mths - 7 years. I have had the privilege of meeting the 2 older children, who are just beautiful.

 I have put myself in their shoes over the last week and cannot even begin to imagine where to start.
We are seeking as much support and assistance that we can, preferably vouchers that the family can use to purchase what they need.
Please email me, or add a comment to my blog if you can help out. A small contribution goes a long way.

Friday, May 6, 2011

7th Birthday Party - Mario theme

My son turned 7 last week, I just cannot believe how fast that has gone. He wanted to have a Mario Kart theme for his birthday party. So I attempted to get creative, in the very limited time we had to get organised. Thanks to my gorgeous nephew's mum, who designed these invites, water bottle labels and lolly bag labels for us. I also want to thank my gorgeous friends and family for bringing food. It helped so much.

 The popcorn was a hit, and we had marshmellow sticks, and chips in cupcake holders, which were easy for the little ones to manage.
 The cake had Mario Kart figures on it. Simple chocolate mud, very rich but very nice.
Lollie bag's were a hit, I really love the white paper bag. It was a great day especially for Nicholas.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter, what a weekend!

Here are a few pictures of our Easter, to share. Good Friday was spent with my family and Ben's parents. The rest of the weekend, I have enjoyed the quietness of our house to study, as one genius  smarty pants decided to have a 4000 word assignment due, 1 week after Easter and at the end of school holidays. Oh well, hoping for a pass, will be suffice. My husband Ben travelled north to Wodonga to visit his sisters and brother, to enjoy a lovely Easter weekend in the fine weather in the country visiting wineries.  Book me in for next year. xx
I enjoyed decorating the table for Good Friday dinner, and making goodie bags for the kids with stickers and magnets from Bed Bath and Table.

We had Salmon and Garlic Prawn Pasta with tomato and capsicum sauce. It was to die for, thank you Donna for the sensational recipe. Sorry for some not so good photo's , a few too many bubbles I think.
Great Easter all round.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How funny is the universe, it got better, boy did it get better!

What a contrast from yesterday!

My day started with my gorgeous neighbour taking my son for the day , being that we are well into school holidays, whilst I headed off to work.
Yeah work!!, How excited can one person be, going to work. When you have kids, most mothers would agree, work is a piece of cake in comparison. Regular breaks, adult conversation, and no playing the UN to constant fighting.
I received a letter from Monash Uni today, outlining that I was in the top 15% of academic achievement for my Master course that I am currently enrolled in, and that I have been invited to become a member of the International Honour Society. What tha?
Well my lovely sister, thought maybe they sent the letter to the wrong person.Thanks Sis, I was in shock too, but yes they got it right. Little old me, who wagged most of undergraduate degree and barely passed year 12, not through a lack of trying. My mother tells me I was preoccupied. Well who isn't at 16+.

 My mother is proud to have invested so much money into my private school fees, and having it finally pay off 20 years after leaving school, better late than never, hey?

I am truly in shock. I was able to get really high grades last year, but wow, maybe this calls for a bottle or 2 of bubbles ..... Dead Poets Society here I come. Does this mean that I actually know what I am talking about?? I don't think so, but hey I'll take the credit. Ha!
A very Good Day thank you very much.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Could it get any worse, I suppose it could!

I have never really wanted to write a post about the not so good times and things in our life, but hey this really does make for a good laugh.

To give you a little context, my husband is currently away working on the 7PM Project for Channel 10 promoting Queensland to replenish the slow tourist market up there, as a Technical Manager, ( tough gig). I have curretly have  a 4 week old meniscal tear in my left knee so getting around is a little strained , or as my neighbour kindly puts it ( look out here comes Hoppy) and as anyone would know, it is difficult to walk and put pressure on the knee, which is ever so easy when you have little kids. And of course school holidays have just started.
Nice one Ben, leaving the wife with the kids whilst you travel around balmy Queensland.

Well it started at 6:30am this morning, I thought I would get up early, as I have my girlfriend who I haven't seen since Xmas  coming over with her her 4  kids, a nearly 3 year old a 1 year, and 2 tween girls. So in total there were to be 6 children in the house for morning tea. With that many kids in the house on a stormy wet day outside I needed to clean up, put toys away especially those little toys that could obstruct a 1 year old airway, think about how I could entertain the tweens and maybe bake some cup cakes for morning tea. Whilst cleaning I realised with all the rain overnight the walls in my bedroom were damp, are we leaking from above, not man around to go into the roof to tell me. Will have to wing it. I then proceeded to clean the house in the wee hours of the morning and realised that my daughter was kindly itching her head. Oh o,,,, oh yes, Lice, Lice it is. GREAT!

So out comes the lice treatment, for her and her brother , seeing as no doubt he would have it as well. Meanwhile remembering I had an Osteopath appointment for my knee at 9:15am to then be back home in time for morning tea with my girlfriend and her 4 kids by 1030am. My kids were thrilled with the idea of a treatment seeing as it was 12 degrees and a rather cold morning, winging and whining at every chance they could.
Well we got through that, and by this stage it was 8am, and there goes the IPhone text, beep beep. Reading, " Can we postpone today as I haven't slept, the kids have been up half the night"
 Oh thank god I thought, I wasn't sure how I was going to break the news that my kids had lice, which sends an image that my children must play and wash their hair in the gutter, no matter how many times your friends tell you everyone gets it and hey the kids that have clean hair get it more than those with dirty hair ( yeah right ).
Mind you, I really would have preferred a sleep in, rather than cleaning the house head to toe, but hey, the house was tidy and there were fresh cup cakes for morning tea.
Finally we managed to get to the Osteopath by 9:15am whilst I am bribing, begging and pleading with my kids to behave in the appointment. Whilst lying on the table having my knee treated, there really is nothing better than a 20 something who has absolutely no interest in kids smiling and telling you how good they are, whilst Isabelle is bouncing one of the dirty soft toys from the toy box in my face to see how high it will bounce. Survived that in one piece, well one good leg anyway, and tried to ferry the kids to the car in the torrential rain, of course soaking my clothes through to my underwear. Don't you love that feeling, there is nothing quite like it.

By this stage it was 10 am , and I thought to myself I need a coffee, a strong one. I decided to hit Chadstone, maybe not such a good idea during school holidays. We lasted all of 1 hour before cyclone shopping my way through a kids store to get Nicholas some desperately needed clothes for a weekend away to Buller on Friday. The store clerk couldn't believe how quick I was, no time for procrastinating today, lets just buy and leave. THANK YOU

Oh yes, I had that to plan today, as this was one of 2 only days off prior to leaving for Buller on Friday.
I then decided to hit Dan Murphy's for some bubbles for the weekend, deciding as the bad mother that I am today, that the kids could stay in the car and have their morning tea. We survived this ok. Plenty of bubbles for the weekend.

We arrived home in time for lunch, however not in time for one of my children having an accident in their pants, great number two's, always handy when you just arrive home. Well it could be worse, it could of happened whilst lying on the Osteo table.
There was no way I was going to even attempt to wash these after my laundry was full of linen that I had to strip and boil to prevent the spread of lice.. So I chucked them, straight in the bin. Number two's, despite being a nurse is something I do not deal well with.

I then proceeded to check my daughters hair, realising the treatment from this morning had not worked, round 2 for her.
During the 2nd round of lice treatment, the phone rings and it is my lovely husband, trying to relay how busy and tired he is. I think I was about ready to jam the phone up his.......
My neighbour must of been sensing my frustrations when she received my text, asking her for a catch up at 5:30pm. Other women just know....
Vodka it is , waiting for me at her house. ' Bring your dinner over, and lets have a drink" Thank GOD
I whipped up a tuna and vegetable casserole and ate in peace, well even just for 5 minutes at my neighbours house.

I left her house feeling refreshed until I realised that I had managed to  tip tuna juice from the casserole dish all the way down the front of my top, whilst scratching my head. OH O.....
It could be worse... Some days, it just can't get any worse

Monday, April 11, 2011

Little Easter Presents for the Class of Year 1

It seemed too early to be arranging Easter presents for the class, but school has broken up 2 weeks prior to Easter. With that said, we were all a little late organising the Easter goodies for Nicholas' class mates.
However we decided to go very simple, also baring in mind, kids with sensitivities and allergies to chocolate, we didn't want anyone to miss out. We made up little cellophane bags with shredded paper we got from our favourite cake shop " Merry Days" , little fluffy yellow chicks from the local $2 shop and each friend got 2 little Easter eggs all wrapped up in ribbon. Nicholas was happy and so were all his friends. Something very simple, but nice to do.. Happy Easter

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pru Goward not so nice to Jackie O!

I am so shocked to hear that a politician would judge another mother and get it so wrong.

Please read this and support a fellow mother. Please read this from Amity's Blog

Dear Pru Goward, (cc Annette Sharp)

Wow, if you wanted to alienate every mother in Australia, mission accomplished! Your statement comparing Jackie O bottle-feeding her baby while walking across the road to Michael Jackson HANGING HIS BABY OVER A BALCONY was so absurd it had me wondering if it was a belated April Fools Day joke. But no, apparently you were serious. But then, if making that statement wasn’t bad enough, accepting responsibility for the opinions of every mother in the country and suggesting we too would be appalled by Jackie’s actions? Well, Pru, here’s a hot tip for you. The only mother I’m appalled by here is you.

As if Jackie wasn’t having a bad enough week, with the open letter she copped from journalist Annette Sharp. Questioning why she went back to work so early after having a baby was offensive enough and why any mother should have to justify her choices, public profile or not, is beyond me. But your comments coming on top of that must have felt like such a vicious blow, at a time of such vulnerability, I can only imagine how Jackie is feeling right now.

I have met Jackie many times over the years and she is a really lovely girl. Back in 2003 when I was doing a ton of promo for The Block and The Lighthouse we saw each other quite often. I remember one charity event we both attended where I brought my baby nephew, who was visiting from interstate. We both oohed and aahed over him, taking turns for cuddles, while agreeing we couldn’t wait to be mums ourself. I haven’t seen Jackie for many years now, but I was really happy to read the news she was pregnant, after spending so long trying to conceive. Having experienced my own challenges in conceiving my second baby I knew how heartbreaking it was to long for a baby, so was thrilled she finally had her much longed for child.

Do you remember that feeling Pru? That excitement, nervousness, awe and trepidation of becoming a mum for the first time. Do you remember trying so hard to do everything right, in this life changing new experience, whilst feeling like your whole world had been turned upside down?

I do. So to hear Jackie’s anguished tears as she pleaded her case on her show the other day made me really angry. How horrible that this amazing time in her life should be hijacked, by judgemental and nasty comments from women who should know better. And why should she have to explain herself to anyone? Is her baby in danger, neglected, malnourished, abused? No. Although plenty of babies across the country are Pru, as you well know (considering your position as NSW families minister). Yet the actions of their parents aren’t held up to public criticism at all, because they are protected by laws that withhold their identities. Perhaps you could spend your time looking into that, instead of focusing on a clearly loving and competent mother, who happens to work in the spotlight. It astounds me, as mothers yourselves, that you would want to contribute in any way to the pressure and uncertainty that every new mum already feels, by publicly questioning the personal choices Jackie has made.

And lets look at those choices for a moment. Returning to work after 8 weeks, in a studio set up in her home so that her baby is always with her. Um, wouldn’t this be considered an ideal, if not FANTASTIC arrangement for most new mums and their babies? Being able to continue to work without having to get out of your pjs and leave the house, or your baby, would seem like a best-case scenario for most working mums. But even if Jackie had returned to the office at 8 weeks, as some mothers have to do, or choose to do, isn’t that HER BUSINESS?

So onto the second accusation, walking across the road whilst bottle-feeding her baby, which you suggested was ‘unnecessarily cavalier.’ Unnecessarily cavalier? Was she attempting to get her 3 month old to walk across the road herself? Was she dodging traffic while holding her baby in one arm and a bottle of gin in the other? That would be unnecessarily cavalier. But feeding her while walking? For gods sake.

I have to say, I have breastfed my baby in some pretty bizarre situations. In fact, the moments I’ve spent serenely focusing all my attention on her whilst breastfeeding in an upright feeding chair have been few and far between. Instead, I have balanced her on my lap whilst writing this blog, held my iphone over her head to check my emails and begged her to stop stuffing around and hurry up and finish because I had to get to rehearsal. Is this unnecessarily cavalier Pru? Does this picture not represent the ‘perfect’ image of devoted motherhood we are expected to fulfill, therefore making me a bad mother?

Because if that’s the case, we’re all bad mothers. Every single one of us who are just trying to get through the day, trying to fit it all in, trying to be everything to everybody and trying to do our best at a job that has no rules and never ends. So wouldn’t it make it a lot easier for all of us if we supported and embraced one other during this challenging new experience, instead of judging from the sidelines? Aren’t the demands of new motherhood enough without having to fend off public attacks from other women, who should get it themselves?

Pru, you have spoken for other mothers everywhere in your comments to Jackie, so I’m going to do the same.

Jackie, on behalf of sane mothers across the country, we support you. We recognise you’re doing the best you can, just like we all are, and we wish you and your precious baby Kitty all the best in your new lives together. This should be one of the happiest (yet sleepiest) times of your life, so we hope you can put this ridiculous situation aside and get on with the joy of falling in love with each other.

Do you agree that Pru Goward overstepped the line?Comment on Amity's blog.
Amity Dry is a writer, composer, singer and mum of two. She blogs for Essential Baby and is the writer and composer of ‘Mother, Wife and the Complicated Life,’ a new musical that takes a raw and honest look at marriage and motherhood. Follow Amity on Twitter.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I came home to the washing done and dinner on the table...

Cheers to you honey!
How nice is it to come home, the school readers are done for the night, the washing is on and dinner is warm and on the table. Kids are bathed, and I am welcomed home. This truly is the life. I could not do any of what I do without the support of my husband. How can women do what they do without support. Life is so crazy, with work, study, children, family, friendships , our social life and not in that order either. It is the support that we all need. Whether we get is from our husband, friends, family, the nanny or a good old neighbour. We all need support. Thanks to my husband..

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Easter Bunny will know where to find us!

The kids have been growing carrots in a pot in the back yard for quite some time now, and thought we would have a look to see if they might be ready in time for the Easter Bunny. The kids were so excited, being part of something that they could grow. Something little that has brought so much joy.
We still have some in the garden ready for the Easter Bunny...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Yesterday's Recipes

If anyone would like a recipe from yesterday's girls lunch, please feel free to leave me a comment and I will get back to you. Happy Weekend...

Lunch with the ladies.....

My daughter has asked me all week if we could have lunch with Nanna and Aunty Donna. So we decided to have an inside picnic today as the weather was all over the place. We had Zucchini and  Bacon slice as per , tomatoe and feta salad and a fresh bread stick. Nanna liked the fresh lemon water from my new dispenser, and Aunty Donna loved the fresh coffee after lunch. Thank you to Nanna for the lovely flowers that added that special touch to the table. It was a lovely day.....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Easter is coming!

The kids have been talking about Easter, and I thought I would start to bring some colour to the house, as Easter seems to come and go so quickly. You have got to love Bed Bath and Table the best place for all the lovely Easter products.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Food at its best!

There is nothing better than when you are invited to someones house for dinner, and you are treated to such a divine meal. My husband and I were treated to a beautiful array of prawn and corn fritters and a peach, goats cheese and prosciutto salad to celebrate our lovely friend Claire's birthday. We topped it off with Vodka/Pineapple Margarita's, delicious! Thank you for the invite, Freya and Claire xx

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chocolate Cake

I made a chocolate cake over the weekend with Ganache Icing. Very nice. It was no masterpiece like my gorgeous cousin Kylie's cakes, but I love the fact that you can buy little bits and pieces to decorate a cake. I bought this little chinese doll, too cute, and used it for a 2 year old birthday party. Thanks Merry Day's for your help to support a novice cake maker....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

20 Yrs and Still Going Strong!

Well today is a special day for my husband and I. It was 20 yrs to the day when he asked me 'OUT". Well ,that was the talk back in the day." Will you go out with me", he asked. I remember it like it was yesterday.
 I decided to put up some photo's around the house reflecting back over the years. My husband loved it. Although my son, wanted to know why there are no photo's of him.

I inked the love hearts for the tree and used some scrapbooking pieces to add a few bits and pieces.

A few photo's from in the past.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A couple of nice purchases from Capital Kitchen Chadstone.

I purchased this little black board for the kitchen. As you can see, I had my friend Ness over for lunch. She thought it was quite hilarious having a sign in her honour, just for ham rolls. I love the small things, even if they do make us laugh. I also purchased the steel tub that I put all the coffee and sugar canisters in. Cute

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