Friday, September 30, 2011

The Wedding Edition!

Making the decision to elope rather than have a big extravaganza of a wedding was a fairly easy one to make. Firstly, we were broke. Secondly we had both been married before. Thirdly we wanted it to be about us and the kids....and not really anyone else. Selfish much?
I love weddings. I think they are one of the most beautiful events you can attend....I just wasn’t interested in having one myself (again).
So when we planned our massive holiday to Tassie last year we thought.....why not? Why not kill two birds with one stone? And it’s not like Tassie isn’t beautiful. We had a plethora of incredible places to choose from to have our special day.
We chose the Tamar Valley, just outside of Launceston; it was stunning.

The thing about eloping as that you tend to take a rather relaxed approach to the planning, simply because there is not really a whole lot of planning to do. Trouble is, we were a little too relaxed...and left a lot of things to the last minute......
On the morning of the big day we had our celebrant organised, our photographer and a witness. We had picked a beautiful spot in a gazebo over a lake. The children had gorgeous outfits to wear and I had bought Hubby a nice shirt and pants. I had forgotten one thing however.....myself.
We dashed into Launceston that morning to try and find me a dress. I wasn’t after a traditional dress, just something pretty and flattering. After trawling through quite a few stores I settled on a cute little purple number....that was $30 from Target.  I planned to team it with black boots, black stockings and a black woollen jacket (it was absolutely freezing in Tassie at that time of year)
After that we ‘popped’ into the jeweller to pick up a ring (yes, I’d forgotten that too!) Stopped off at the florist to grab two bunches of flowers (for $10 each) and very importantly visited the bottle shop for a yummy bottle of Verve...for our 'reception' afterwards.
We dashed back to the resort we were staying in and proceeded to get ready. I dashed around getting the children and soon to be Hubby prepared and had precisely 10 minutes to get ready myself (story of my life)
We arrived at our destination elegantly in our huge camper van; it's kind of difficult to be glamorous and lady-like when climbing out of the cab of one of those things.
It wasn't long before we were all assembled and ready to go.
Our bridal party was gorgeous;
Mr 11 was the Best Man;

Miss 8 was the Maid of Honour;

Mr 5 was the 'Ring Bear'


Miss 2 was the Flower Girl;

Our wedding ceremony began. Throughout our vows Mr 5 clutched the box containing our rings possesively. He had taken his role as ‘Ring Bear’ very seriously and hadn’t let them out of his sight. When it became time for him to hand us our rings he did so very carefully. He handed Hubby’s to me and I placed it lovingly on his finger. Then, he handed my ring to Hubby who took it, fumbled it, and then proceeded to drop it. We watched in horrified awe as it tumbled down and right through the gap between the floor boards of the gazebo...and into the lake.  Hubby and I stared at each other in absolute mortification.....and then I started to laugh. I laughed and laughed and eventually Hubby joined in too. Tears streamed down my face as we used one of my other rings to finish the ceremony. The only one not laughing was Mr 5 who was appalled that Dad had dropped Mum’s special ring....it’s something he still tells his Dad off about to this day.
Despite that mishap the ceremony finished amongst laughter and tears and we were offically married. It was a wonderful moment and one that was even more significant because we had our lovely children with us.
Hubby later went back to that freezing cold lake and swam under the gazebo to try and locate the missing ring, but no luck.
The photographer took some fun and fabulous shots and then we went back to the resort for our reception that involved champers for Hubby and I, soft drink for the kids and some crazy dancing from all of us. We took crazy photos and laughed about the ring debacle.
Later, we all went out for a wonderful dinner...it was the perfect ending to the (nearly) perfect day.
A year later, I look back on our special day with joy, pride and just a little bit of a giggle.



PS; On returning from our holiday my Grandfather presented me with my Grandmothers’ wedding ring, which meant more to me than words could ever express.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thank Goodness for Little Boys....

When Mr 5 was born and they handed his wriggly and screaming little body to me it was apparent quite quickly that he was a boy.

Firstly he had a huge noggin that greatly resembled his Fathers. Secondly he had a penis. Thirdly he proceeded to poop all over me. Such is the charm of boys.

A boy! I was overjoyed. Then, slightly perplexed....What does one do with little boys? Or more to the point how does one deal with a little boy's private parts?

I'm used to girls. For starters I am one. I also grew up in a female dominated household (sorry about that Dad) My first child was a girl. Girls are well, familiar.

Not that girls are easier...not in the slightest.

Admittedly I did have a reasonable amount of experience with my stepson; who I have known and loved since he was three. But he was well out of nappies by that stage, and I generally let his Dad deal with any 'boy issues'

But what to do with a little chap all of my very own?

The first time I scored a face full of wee was a shock to the system....I had no idea boys could pee so far.

Rather than make all the chitter-chatter noises my big girl had made he uttered the one noise continuously 'Brrrrrm, Brrrrrm, Brrrrrrm'

He was greedy and gulped his milk down rapidly. He would tug painfully if I wasn't fast enough.

Despite these few interesting traits he was a delight, a joy. After the debacle filled first few years that was Miss 8's start to life ( which was wonderful...but exhausting) he was easy going, drama free.

He followed a routine like clock work. Ate when he supposed to. Slept when he was tired. He was the only child of mine to sleep through the night before 12 months of age.

He always has been a cuddly, snuggly little thing. Sensitive and cautious...just like his big brother. Sometimes a bit sooky. A temper I can only describe as volatile. A natural ability to care and think of others. One of his favourite things to do is curl up into my lap for a 'snuggle' with his thumb firmly place in his mouth ( I know, I know, still sucking his thumb at five.....we're working on it)

Don't get me wrong; he is a real 'boy's boy'. He loves cars, footy, building things. He idolises his Dad......and Lightning McQueen. He loves wrestling and thinks that girls stuff is 'the worst ever'. Once he spent an entire day outside catching stink bugs......charming.

His head is like a battering ram. He is constantly hitting it on things, bumping it, knocking it. I have had more hospital visits with him than with the other three combined. His head is criss-crossed with little scars from his accidents.

Having boys has been an incredible learning curve. The girls are more stubborn, determined and high maintenance. they push boundaries that the boys wouldn't dream of pushing. I love my girls, they make life sparky and amazing, but it is nice to shift down a gear that is life with boys.

Granted not all boys (or girls) are made the same. But my boys make my world a softer and gentler place. I'm really grateful that mine are the special little men that they are.


You can read my post on my special little girls here.

Write On Wednesdays - Scar Tissue

 

First of all I would like to thank everyone for their support last week. It was definitely one of my favourite writing experiences. Apologies to anyone that I missed out on commenting on; I have very limited Internet access at the moment so I tend to flit around to a couple a day.

 

Now for this week;

Scar Tissue - Red Hot Chili Peppers


Scar tissue that I wish you saw
Sarcastic mister know it all
Close your eyes and I'll kiss you 'cause
With the birds I'll share
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view

Push me up against the wall
Young Kentucky girl in a push-up bra
Fallin' all over myself
To lick your heart and taste your health 'cause
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view...

Blood loss in a bathroom stall
Southern girl with a scarlet drawl
Wave good-bye to ma and pa 'cause
With the birds I'll share
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view

Soft spoken with a broken jaw
Step outside but not to brawl
Autumn's sweet we call it fall
I'll make it to the moon if I have to crawl and
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view...


Scar tissue that I wish you saw
Sarcastic mister know it all
Close your eyes and I'll kiss you 'cause
With the birds I'll share
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view
With the birds I'll share
This lonely view...
 
 
 
 
Now, I'm well aware of the actual meaning of this song, having read Anthony Kiedis's book with the same title. But I have interpreted in my own way, not feeling comfortable with the themes of drug use and self harm. Rather I am going to focus on the theme of loneliness.


image credit


The room shrank, until it had enclosed him in a bubble. He could not escape, could barely move from the lethargic stupor he had forced himself into.

The fan whirred slowly, depressingly. He watched from underneath his half closed eyelids. Feeling almost hypnotised by it's cycle.

His room stank. Uneaten food, filthy sheets and the sour, unwashed smell of his own body. He didn't notice. He didn't care. He was trapped within the confines of his own mind. A prisoner of his thoughts. Jailed by his isolation and loneliness.

He searched his tender brain, examining and probing, finding the weaknesses within. Silently cursing himself for his stupidity in losing her. Because it was him; all him, all his fault. He had made the decision that sent her away. He had weakened and given in to temptation again. 

He had accepted that she would be there forever. That she would never leave. That she would put up with the abysmal way he had treated her. That she would tolerate his party lifestyle, his cheating, his careless words, his vicious mood swings.

It had come as a shock when she had walked out. He had thought she would return...but she hadn't. Days turned into weeks, weeks had now turned into months. But still, she had stayed away. She had vanished from his life...seemingly forever.

Footsteps echoed in the hallway outside his room. He turned his back to the door, preparing to ignore the intrusion.

A tentative knock.

Then, a voice...her voice.

'David......it's me'


OK, so admittedly I'm not being overly true to the lyrics here. But this is what I came up with! Head over to inkpaperpen to see how the rest of the WoWers went!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weird Celebrity Crushes.....What's yours?

Celebrity crushes........We all have them - Or maybe just I do. A bit of a school girl / school boy crush on a particular celebrity (or celebrities for that matter) you watch them in a movie, on television, or on the sporting field and you feel a little flustered. You appreciate their brooding looks (if it's the male of the species you're fawning over) their deep, husky voices, their muscular physique - (Sorry if any blokes are reading, but I'm directing this post towards the ladies). Most of the women I 'interviewed' (or rather hassled) for this information were happy to tell me all about their conventional lust-haves;

For instance;




gerard butler 14 Gerard Butler
Brooding looks, 'undress me' eyes - Gerard Butler gets the tick of approval.

Slightly kooky, absolutely gorgeous and incredibly talented...Johnny Depp....Mm mm!



I can't stand a man who requires more grooming than I do....but many women think David Beckham is to 'die for'


Knew he had to crop up somewhere. I guess Brad Pitt is handsome, but a bit too mainstream for me.
Sometimes being so good looking should be a crime...Paul Walker I'm talking to you.



But what about the unusual....the unconventional....and honestly, some of the downright creepy, celebrity loves?




Tex Perkins? Interesting to say the least.
A man with pubes for hair and a pot belly? Ugh!






Steve Martin? Really? Honestly? Well, each to their own.





How can you not love someone that's all that's right with the world?
 
Now I kind of get this one, definitely left of centre, Nic Cage exemplifies the word 'weird'
So, what about me? You may ask....who do I 'secretly' lust after? Who do I go 'ga-ga' over? What man could possibly make me go all googly-eyed at the television set? My girlfriends all know and they think that's it hilarious that I could fawn over a bloke who is vertically challenged, has terrible hair and is approaching middle age......

Please excuse me while I drool....





Now I want to hear all about your celebrity crush(es) whether weird or not...so come on, spill it, share it, divulge all......I'm waiting.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quickest Chocolate Brownies

I was recently given Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals. As a bit of a Jamie fan I was really excited about the recipes it contained. The concept of cooking a wonderful meal in 30 minutes really appealed to me.

Since having this book I have created an array of meals that are quick, easy and incredibly tasty. I have to admit, however, that the '30 minute' time frame is a tad optimistic. I'm sure that a talented chef like Jamie in a kitchen with all the gizmo's and gadgets and most importantly no interruptions, whizzes through these meal plans. But me? With four children and a disorganised kitchen where half my appliances are either dead or dying? I think 45 minutes is a bit more realistic.

Anyways; I am waaaay off topic here. What I want to share today is a recipe that in essentials is Jamie's, but I have done my usual and butchered it to suit me. This is, quite frankly, the quickest brownie recipe going....and is pretty yummy to boot.

Ingredients;

200 grams dark chocolate
250 grams unsalted butter
200 grams caster sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 heaped tablespoons self raising flour
4 eggs
chopped nuts (optional)

Firstly chop up the chocolate roughly and cut up the butter into chunks. But both into the food processor and add the caster sugar, cocoa, flour. Blend together in the processor. Crack in the eggs one at a time while the motor is running. Once it is all mixed together spoon the mixture into a lined and greased tin. If you're adding nuts sprinkle them over the top. Now bake in a preheated oven for approx 15 minutes. With brownies you ideally want them to be cooked on the top but a little gooey on the inside. Mmmmmm! Serve with cream, ice cream...anything you like!

I would also like to note that some of the chocolate didn't process properly in my food processor. Don't worry if this happens to you as you will only end up with some lovely melty chunks through your brownie.....delicious!

For more Jamie head over to his awesome website.....JamieOliver.com

Sunday, September 25, 2011

One Lucky Aunty!

I have the extreme privilege of being the member of a very tight knit and close family. My parents brought us up to be the best of friends. To support and love one another, to know that we can rely on each other.
When I had my first baby my family were all there at the hospital to greet the newest addition to our ‘gang’. Each subsequent child was welcomed in the same way. My parents; loving but firm grandparents. My sisters; fun loving, affectionate (and sometimes naughty) Aunties.

Last year it was my turn. To greet my sister’s new additions. Not once, but twice. My younger sisters had been partners in mischief for quite a few years. They continued the theme when they fell pregnant within weeks of each other.

My beautiful nieces were born two weeks apart;
 Harlow came first......



Followed by Ruby......
Becoming an Aunty added a whole new dimension to my life. A love different to what I felt for my own scallywags.......but intense and beautiful all the same. I love cuddling and playing with them. I love their smiles and laughter. They are so funny and adorable. And best of all, when they cry or poo I can hand them back to their parents!
My children adore having baby cousins. They help to care for them when we visit. They revel in being ‘the big kids’, the responsible ones. It is wonderful.
Miss 8, Miss 2, Mr 5 and their little cousins.
I just can’t wait for my sisters to have more babies (hint, hint) for me to spoil!

                  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Invasion!




For the past couple of weeks I have suspected that we may have some 'visitors' in our house. They arrived silently, without an invitation of any sort. I hadn't met these guests in person but I'd found the evidence everywhere. They've been having little parties all over the place.

I set up a few traps to stop the little buggers in their tracks but each morning they would be empty...

Smarter than the average rodent then?

As long as they quietly snapped up the crumbs left hither tither around the house by my darling children I wasn't too concerned...but then I saw one....a hairy, disgusting, little monster. It looked at me when I opened the linen cupboard this morning, just sat there and cocked it's head curiously as if to say 'So, what are you going to do about it huh?', needless to say I screamed the house down.

'What? What's wrong?' demanded Hubby, obviously concerned at my reaction.

'A mouse! A mouse!' I screamed hysterically.

Hubby doubled over with laughter. 'What were you trying to do? Deafen it? Scare it to death? I don't think it can hurt you darling' he chortled.

Well, I wasn't too sure about that. Repulsive, foul little thing. Spreading it's diseases everywhere. Ugh!

So now it's time to get rid of the vermin. No more Mrs Nice Girl, I'm bringing out the mouse exterminating artillery....before something terrible happens....something devastating.....something horrific.......like them getting into my chocolate stash.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Write On Wednesdays......Little Girl.

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 15 - Give yourself some time to notice the people around you. The people who may cross your path each day. The lady in front of you at the supermarket, the man who helps the school kids cross the road, a neighbour, a waitress in a cafe, a librarian, anyone at all. Choose one person, someone you don't know, and this person will become the basis of the week's writing exercise. Describe this person as you see them, describe their surroundings. Then imagine a problem, create conflict for this person. Describe the conflict. Describe how your character deals with the problem. The conflict might resolve itself, it might not. It is up to you. Perhaps, the lady in the supermarket has forgotten her wallet. Does she bursts into tears? Maybe the librarian finds a lost child. The aim is to show how your character responds to conflict and in the process, reveal something about that character. Tell us their story.



When I read this week's prompt I was excited. I love people watching. And I love making up stories about people I watch. I've been doing it since I was a child. So this week's exercise? Right up my alley! I had chosen my 'subject' almost the moment I read the brief and had already made up a story about her in my mind. I pass this lady everyday on my morning run. She always has an air of incredible sadness. I had to write about her.

Now, I have been a little naughty and not followed the prompt exactly. I haven't described her surroundings much or her physical apperance, this story is all about the emotion.

So, what do you think?



image credit







Her feet hit the pavement in a steady rhythm. Sweat dripped from her brow as she ran. Onwards into an exquisite and painful oblivion. She welcomed the solitude, the silence. For the moment it was just her...her and the long winding road. It stretched out before her like a ribbon; dark and tangled, caught in a little girl's hair.

Little girl.

She gulped, tears sprang to her eyes. A memory had joined her in isolation.

Little girl.

Images came dancing through her mind. Memories, moments, instances in time. Perfect. Beautiful.

Curls and ribbons and a sweet, smiling face. A giggle. Eyelashes tickling her cheek. A soft hand holding hers. A gentle cuddle. A soft body wrapped around hers. Sweetness and light.

Everday she ran; to try and forget, to bury the memories deep within herself. Everyday something small and insignificant would remind her.

Everyday she ran and everyday she dreamt about her.......

Little girl,
Her little girl,
Gone forever.


Visit inkpaperpen for Write On Wednesdays.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Couch Potato....Couch Potato

image from weheartit.com





I'm going to be really honest with myself....and you here. I have a problem, something I really need to do something about........I'm a couch potato, a homebody, a lazy-bum. I don't often feel inclined to move....at all. I'm not sporty or athletic or really even remotely interested in being sporty or athletic.

I have friends who play sport, frequent the gym and attend those dance/exercise classes. When they discuss all these strenuous and exhausting activities I simply nod and smile. Not really relating to what any of them are talking about.

Admittedly I did spend 10 years running around dangerously with a hockey stick in hand. I loved it...it was great fun...it was just too bad that I kinda sucked at it. It was also too bad that I tended to loose my temper at ladies twice my age and twice my size.

Once the children arrived I stopped. Unfortunately caring for four children while my Husband works all.the.time does not give me much of a chance to play hazardous sports. Also I kind of value my teeth.

So how to exercise with children in tow? You don't.

I did try the gym...briefly....but working out (read dying) in that environment is akin to torture for me. Lots of sweating, grunting people packed into a room with pushy fitness instructors....ugh. Going for a walk with all the kidlets in tow is virtually impossible.....and I also would like to keep my sanity intact thank you.

But I know that if I value my health I need to make the time to do some form of activity.

So, I did it. I started. I kicked myself up the backside and I began to move.

Every morning I wake when the sparrow farts and while the children and Hubby are sleeping I pull on my daggy t-shirt and shorts, force my ancient sneakers on my feet and take off....just me and the dog. At that time of the morning (early) the air is clear and still crisp, the sun is peeking over the horizon and everything is silent....apart from the huffing and puffing from me and the click clack of the dog's paws on concrete.

It's lovely...peaceful...wonderful....and I wonder, why didn't I start this sooner?

Now all I need to do is stop eating so much cake....hmmmmm...easier said than done!

Monday, September 19, 2011

2 Adults, 4 Kids, 2 weeks....and a Camper.

On this day of September 2010 my husband and I had a plan; the plan was insane, crazy and completely irrational. Hubby and I were beside ourselves with excitement and just a little terrified at the prospect.
      Taking four children on a 2 week holiday around Tasmania in a camper van may not be everyone’s cup of tea, in fact it was possible it wasn’t ours either…but we were willing to give it a try.
With our 50 bags of luggage packed, plane tickets safely enclosed in my handbag and kids piled into the car we turned to look at their expectant little faces, they had no idea what they were in for….neither did we.
Ready for anything!
      I would like to think that we were suitably prepared for the plane trip but sometimes the best laid plans soon become unravelled. Children are unpredictable creatures and the most unpredictable of all children is definitely the restrained toddler……cue kicking, screaming, crying, and shouting. The other children did not escape unscathed either. Miss 8 was soon vomiting (apparently this one suffers from motion sickness), Mr 10 sobbed very loudly that his ears were hurting and that planes are the most boring thing “ever”. The only one having a good time was Mr 4 seated comfortably by the window, “This is awesome!” he enthused.
  Finally the toddler stopped screaming and fell asleep. Five minutes later the plane landed in Launceston. Our fellow passengers all departed with slightly dazed expressions, we apologised profusely to anyone that would listen as we tried to disembark. Hubby was struggling with a sleeping baby while I managed the two sick, whinging children and Mr Happy.



Russell Falls




The camper van we had hired was smaller, older and dirtier than the pictures we had seen of it on the Internet. I tried to hide my chagrin as we handed over an exorbitant amount of money for our two week trip.
  
Soon, everyone was strapped in and we were on our way. The trip was eventful to say the least. Lot’s of winding roads equalled a lot of vomiting from Miss 8, continuous whining from the toddler and not much interest from Mr 10 who had his head either buried in a book or was busy playing some sort of fan dangled electronic device. Mr 4 however was happy with whatever each day handed out to us. Constant stops for toilet breaks, food and for my poor, long suffering hubby to empty the chemical loo meant for a relatively slow trip. The scenery was incredible; lush, green, rolling hills surrounded by wilderness. Even the main cities; Launceston and Hobart were strikingly pretty.
Wineglass Bay....Beautiful
(Ignore the date on this one, crazy camera!)

We were amazed by the clarity of Wineglass Bay and enjoyed the walk immensely.

We made friends at all the different camping grounds along the way.

We ate the famous scallop pies and visited old-fashioned lolly shops.

Port Arthur was eerie and of unbelievable beauty. Hubby, the older children and I were enthralled by the history of the place...it was like travelling back in time. Mr 4 just loved the boat ride.
  
Snow Angels (!?)
One of the most magical moments of our experience was when it snowed while at Cradle Mountain. Not only had the children never seen snow before but at 31 years of age it was my first time too. The children were amazed at the powder like texture of the freshly fallen snow and we quickly set about throwing snowballs at each other, making snowmen and snow angels.
 It was wonderful watching our children delight in the beauty of nature, it is a memory that we will always hold dear.
   

Snow!
A night of snow and we were stuck!
Unfortunately that night the snow became heavier and when we awoke the next morning we were well and truly stuck. We needed to be in Launceston that day as we had booked some prior accommodation to get a break from the camper. We tried unsuccessfully a number of times to drive out ourselves but only succeeded in lodging the camper on top of a large log that was hidden in the snow. To our rescue came the owner of the camping grounds who had us pulled out in no time with the help of his tractor. The roads out were slippery but drivable and we made good time back to Launceston.

The next two days were spent in the comfort of a resort. There was room for the children to play, good food and most importantly a hot shower, flushable loo and comfortable beds. It is amazing how much you miss these simple things when you have to go without.
Bed hogs!

On our last morning in Tasmania the children and I sat huddled around our digital camera looking back on all the photos of our trip. We laughed at all the funny images and reflected on all the wonderful things we had seen and done.

Now, exactly one year on from the day we boarded that plane to head into the unknown; Hubby the children and I remember it as one of best things we have ever done. Mr (now) 5 asks us on a regular basis....’When are we going back to Tasmania?’

Soon buddy, soon.
 
Tiptoe through the tulips!


   



Sunday, September 18, 2011

Confessions of a Prude

When middle sister rang me to discuss the itinerary for little sister's hens weekend, I did not expect the words......'And we're having a sex toy party' to spring forth from her lips....but 'spring forth' it did. After a tense few moments where I was too shocked to say anything and she digested my discomfort, she asked 'are you OK with that?

What could I say? That I.....21st century Mumma to four, modern day woman, in my thirties........am a prude? That somehow the idea of sitting around, discussing and giggling about the 'latest' in autonomous intercourse....makes me blush with embarrassment? That perusing books on various positions and techniques reminds me of how shocked I felt when I was 15 years old.....and reading the very dirty book I found in my Grandparents book shelf. (Of course that fact that I was shocked didn't stop me from reading the sordid tale.)

'I'm sure that will be lovely' I squeaked permissively to my sibling. Lovely...the word only a prude would use to describe an event such as this one.

I'm not sure why I'm so prudish. Maybe it's just because I feel so goddamn responsible all the time. Even when my beloved starts 'hinting' (badly I might add) that he's up for 'it', I give him an affronted slap...'Stop it!' I hiss. Intimacy is important, we all know that, I just find discussing it a tad........I don't know.....vulgar.

'Get off your high horse princess' I hear you scoff - I know, I know, but I just can't help it - It's in my nature to be prim, prudent, straight-laced. Today's society is so sexualised that I sometimes find it a bit overbearing, a bit excessive.....a bit unnecessary?

So attending this particular party was going to be a tall order for me...but attend I did.
And guess what? It was fun....hilarious even. I giggled along with everyone else. I discussed the products with enthusiasm. I even...shock, horror.....bought something.
Although I'm not sharing the details of that with you.........it definitely comes under the title of 'too much information' and we all know how I feel about that!



Saturday, September 17, 2011

Grateful for.....Holidays! Holidays! Holidays!

Hooray for holidays!



Yesterday, when the kids trudged wearily from the school yard; hanging their heads and dragging their school bags sullenly behind them, I was upbeat and optimistic....'Cheer up!' I commanded 'it's school holidays!'

They smiled. I smiled. We all smiled.

I love school holidays.

Some parents may despair about what to do with their darlings for the next two weeks but not me. I have it all mapped out, all planned. We are going to do absolutely nothing......and I can't wait.

No waking up at the crack of dawn to race around the house like a demented banshee. No screaming and yelling to 'Get up, eat your breakfast, make your beds, teeth, hair, hurry up!,'
No scrounging around in the washing basket for wrinkly uniforms and odd socks. No throwing together soggy sandwiches and boring old carrot sticks for school lunches. No leaving at 8am to do the 40 minute round trip. No turning the car back around and heading all the way back up the hill because someone forgot their homework, drink bottle, school hat, underwear (Mr 5 has the wonderful habit of not wearing any underwear...ever)

We are going to play, create and cook. We are going to lap up the sunshine, have outdoor picnics and drink milky cups of tea. Watch movies, walk to the park, visit our friends. Strictly speaking it's not doing 'nothing', it's having no fixed schedule, no place that we 'have' to be. It's running free.

My plan of doing nothing for two weeks is my best one yet. The kids are exhausted. I am exhausted. We all need a rest. Because the next term will be one of unequalled madness. The lead up to Christmas, the myriad of birthdays, work, weddings, parties, appointments.......everything.

So, this week I am grateful for the start of school holidays....check back in two weeks time when I'm sure I'll be grateful for the end of school holidays.

This week 'Grateful' is being hosted by Mira Narnie, pop over and check it out!



image credit

Friday, September 16, 2011

Doughnut Muffins





'Mmmmmmm' Miss 8 breathed as I pulled these muffins out of the oven, 'Mum, they smell just like doughnuts!' and then a few minutes later......'Ohhhh Yum! They taste like doughnuts too!'

As you can tell Doughnut Muffins are a huge hit with my children. They are easy to make and taste fabulous. You should end up with a light, fluffy, fragrant morsel...as long as you follow the golden rule of muffin-making...no over mixing!

Doughnut Muffins

175 grams of butter
200 grams caster sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups of plain flour
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
250 mls milk


Topping

100 grams caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsps butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 180C
Line a 12 cup muffin pan with patty cases.

In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat well between each addition. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb and cinnamon into a separate bowl. Add half to the creamed mixture with half the milk. Gently fold together before adding the rest of the flour mix and milk. Mix very gently until just incorporated.
Spoon into the prepared muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden.

For the topping, mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. While the muffins are still warm, brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon & sugar.....Delicious!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Most Embarrassing Moments......






I think that some people have a real knack for embarrassing themselves. A real talent for doing things that can only be described as stupid. For creating a scene or planting their foot firmly in their mouth.

I am one of these people.

It sometimes seems that my life can be summed up as one mortifying moment after another.

The time I wet my pants in front of the entire class in Grade 3.....my teacher had refused to let me go to the toilet before my speech so I weed in front of everyone. From that time onward the kids in that class called me "Wee Willie Wee Wee".This moment is seared across my brain forever, Thank you Mrs Ogilvy.

When I had to perform in a high school drama class and kept wondering why everyone in the audience was sniggering at me.... I didn't find out until I had finished that I had a split in my pants and my floral, frilly undies were on display to 45 high school students.....nice.

I've had massive fails falling off podiums in night clubs (many, many years ago) I've called people by the wrong name, I've let loose with insignificant rubbish in the middle of important conversations. I've told jokes that simply aren't funny.

As I got older my ability to make a spectacle of myself lessened. But only because I had learnt to keep my head down, to fly beneath the radar, to never put myself 'out there'.

Recently though, I've become a bit more confident and a little less inclined to worry about what other people think......which means I am once again 'out there' to make a fool of myself.

I was shopping with my sister recently and she had chosen an outfit to try on. She ducked into one of three change rooms and I poked my head into the room she was in to see how she was going...."Oh, that looks really nice on you' I cooed, looking down at the gorgeous outfit on my sister....only to look up and realise it wasn't my sister at all....I was 'checking out' the body of a complete stranger!

Unfortunately there were no holes nearby for me to curl up and die in.

Luckily I don't have to run into that lady on a daily basis...unlike another recent incident where the person I embarrassed myself in front of is someone I see quite often.......

Once again we were at a children's birthday party....we attend these on a frighteningly regular basis. I had noticed that one of the toddlers in the group had wandered into the public toilet on his own, his Mum was some distance away so, being nearby, I poked my head into the loo to call the little guy back outside. Unfortunately one of the Dads from the party was in there at the time........Although I apologised profusely afterward I still hang my head in shame every time I see the poor man. I swear he must think I'm a pervert.

I'm sure there are more moments I could share, but I'd be carrying on well into next week to name them all, so we'll stop at that shall we?

So, come on spill it. If you have ever had a totally mortifying moment I want to hear about it. Just so you can help me feel a little better!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Write On Wednesdays......A Rewrite.



Write on Wednesday Exercise 14 - The Mighty Mighty Rewrite...
Zanni: I did a workshop with literary author Mj Hyland, who teachers Masters in Creative Writing at Manchester University. She asked us to choose our favourite book, take the first paragraph and then write our own content into the paragraph, keeping the structure, tone, language etc. It's really helpful!

No time limit. Let's keep up the focus on making each word count. Ready? Set? Write!




So, when I read this week's prompt for WoW I have to admit my heart sank just a little; Rewrite the first paragraph from your favourite book? It's kind of like choosing between my children. Finally I settled on Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen as it is one of my favourites. Rewriting any part of this book was going to be a hard call, it is just so beautifully written....but the first paragraph? The opening quote from this novel is famous, as we all know seeing it was featured on inkpaperpen last week. I hope and pray that I haven't completely slaughtered it....Sorry Jane!




'It is truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.'



Being filthy rich can be an absolute drag. Most of society 'assumes' that I need a good man to share it with. Family members despair at my single status. My friends constantly try to set me up with every eligible drop kick they know. All I know is that I'm happy dancing to the beat of my own drum thank you very much.



As you can probably tell I struggled a bit with this one!
Pop over to inkpaperpen to check out the rest of this week's entries.......