Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Tears of a different kind for the new school year...

So another school year is underway today.....

Whilst it is of course a joyous occasion {because it means I will be alone...well tomorrow anyway when all the girls return to school!!!!}....

..... it can also cause me to be a little sad and teary.....

There is nothing like the reality of a new school year and the girls going into a new grade to make me feel like a little part of that daughter has grown up without me seeing it or without me realising it...

Even though I am there for every little thing I still feel that I have missed a little part of each daughters growth in that previous year.....maybe more so with daughters 2, 3 and 4.

Although you try to divide your time between is hard to do....I know full well that the eldest and the youngest get a bit more than their fair share...

Let's face it....everything the eldest does is a 'first'...and everything that the youngest does is a 'last'...most of what is inbetween we have seen at some stage before!!

Add to that the hectic pace at which everything happens around here {well everything except the girls cleaning their rooms!} and weeks disappear with the speed of light...

It is easy to only half listen to somebody's re-telling of their day or to say I'll do that for you in a minute...but that minute turns into an hour, then two and then becomes never.....

So today as three out of five of the girls have returned to school I am sitting here contemplating how to share my time more evenly this year to be sure that everybody get's their share {including me....}

Not an easy task me thinks!

Any tips on how you make sure everybody gets the attention they deserve in your household?

Monday, 26 January 2015

Australia Day 2015

Australia Day 2015 rolled around...the temperature had dropped dramatically from yesterday which was a welcome relief!

With no plans and no commitments we decided on a quiet day at home....which turned into a bit of an Aussie Food Extravaganza!

After breakfast the girls and I hit the kitchen and got baking!

Miss 6 got her hands dirty making Tim Tam balls from a recipe we found at Best Recipes.....oh my gosh they were divine!!

Miss 10 made use of her 2015 Alice Miranda diary and made Mrs McInnerney's Honey Jumbles...definitely better than the store bought ones!

Miss 13 tried her hand at the classic Monte Carlo biscuit thanks to a recipe by Lucy at Play Bake Smile

Miss 15 made a lamington inspired cake thanks to Butter Hearts Sugar....and it is soooo good!!

And last but not least Miss 17 made a good 'ol pavlova...with an Aussie twist...inspired by Cooker and a Looker...didn't turn out too badly either....and then there were fights over who would eat which state!!

Needless to say we are all pretty full right now!!

Hope you all had a great Australia Day...what did you get up to?  
was there a lot of food involved?!?!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

I am a total B*tch!

Ask if my daughter can come over to your place for a play date and I'll have her ready before you can say....well know what I mean right?

BUT....if your daughter is coming to my place for a play...well then...I cringe!

I will mentally start counting down the minutes until you will be returning to pick her up the very second that you drop her off....whilst outwardly smiling and declaring that she can stay as long as you problem at'll be back after work, great!  {omg that's like 5 hours!!}

I know your daughter is as sweet as pie....of course you would think's just that after some 12 years of play dates my patience is wearing thin...!

"No sweetie....the girls do not have their own bedrooms....yes I realise that you have your own bedroom....aren't you lucky!"

"Yes we do only have one bathroom...yes I know that that is not many bathrooms for  seven people....yes I realise that it would be better if we had more than one bathroom"

"Oh I'm sorry you only like peanut butter sandwiches...we don't have peanut about vegemite, honey, jam, oh well"

"Ummm no you can't go out the back and play today because the grass is a bit too long....Oh what's that...oh your daddy always makes sure the grass doesn't get too isn't he just wonderful!"

Oh my gosh...still 4 hours and 57 minutes to go....

"Right yes our kitchen is a bit messy....thank you for pointing that out for me..."

"No darling, we don't have an x-box..."

"So you wouldn't just like to sit quietly and watch a dvd....are you sure about that?

"Yes I know that you don't have younger's blatantly obvious!!"

4 hours 44 minutes to go....

"Yes our house is very small....believe me I am feeling it right now!"

And on and on the day goes...

About half and hour before your expected return I will start looking out the window every minute or two.....perhaps you will be early....oh please, please....

Generally you will be running late....of course I will smile and utter that it's perfectly fine, no trouble at all...haha we didn't even realise the time.....{have I gone too far there?}

Now I start hoping that you are just going to grab your child and run....I kinda loathe those forced little chats at the end of a play date too.

After a little exchange about the latest happenings, the weather, the impending return to school, umm the tell your child that it is time to go....which is usually met by pleading from them that they are still playing...argh I hate that moment!!!

The 'five more minutes' ultimatum is usually issued at this stage!  Then eventually....some twenty minutes later....after you have issued a few reminders to your child, then a few warnings, then a few stern is time to bid farewell to this hellish playdate....until next time....whilst waving you off with a smile..vowing that we will have to do this again real soon !!

See I told you.....I'm a total b*itch!!

Is it only me that feels this way?  Please say it isn't...please. pretty please!!!

Monday, 19 January 2015

DIY Upholstery Workshop...

So with the dawning of 2015...a new year, new resolutions, new possibilities...I decided that it might be time for me to declare 2015  "THE YEAR OF THE COMPLETED CRAFT PROJECT" know, perhaps finish that dress I started knitting miss 10 when she was about 6, finish that granny stripe blanket, finish that shabby chic side table, actually re-cover those dining chairs... I could go on....and on....but yep you get the idea!

Well yesterday I took a step in the right direction and attended a beginners DIY upholstery workshop run by Maaike of Furniture can check out her amazing work at her website here or her facebook page here.

Filled with excitement at going out alone and having a bit of me time I left home bright and early to make the trip to the city.  I didn't get lost, I managed to find a parking spot and I even had time for a hot chocolate before the workshop began....bliss!

The workshop had a great atmosphere and thanks to Maaike we all began our upholstery journey making a crate topper for an old milk crate...

There was a lot of staple gunning, staple removing and more staple gunning but the end result was fantastic....even if I do say so myself!!  

I would highly recommend this workshop...I absolutely loved it...and am keen to book in for another one!

Now another great part of the workshop was that it was held at Koskela.  I had never heard of Koskela before....but WOW !!  You can check out their website here and their facebook page here.

And here are a few teaser pics so that you can fall in love with their store like I did!!

You love it right!!  This store is divine!  And don't fret if you don't live near Rosebery in Sydney...because they have an online store too!!!  Dangerous !!!

So here is my first project that I am going to tackle with my new skills....

I have 4 of these chairs sitting in the shed....I'm thinking of painting them black and covering the seats in a hounds tooth....or maybe I'll go for a more shabby chic style and paint a distressed finish and find some cute floral fabric...or maybe.....oh no the possibilities !!  Stay tuned....hopefully I will make a decision soon!!

Friday, 16 January 2015

21 days...not that I'm counting or anything!!

For the last 2-3 months of 2014 hubby worked nights....he would leave home about 3pm and return home anywhere from midnight to 2am.  Some days he would even work half the day and the night.

So needless to say we were a bit like ships passing in the night {except our passing was during the day obviously!!}

I would wake up at 6am, attempt to silently get out of bed {near impossible with these creaky floorboards!}, then I would shower and dress and attempt to get 5 girls ready for school and out the door without waking hubby....not an easy task believe me!

By the time I had dropped the girls to school, ticked off a few chores, done a bit of grocery shopping...I would return home to hubby starting his day.

We'd have a brief chat, recap the details of the previous days happenings and before you knew it it would be time for me to pick up the girls and hubby would be off to work again.  

Seriously you could stay married forever with this routine!

Then came our end of year holiday and not only would hubby and I be together pretty much 24/7 for 21 + days, but all 7 of us would be together.....did I mention the 24/7 part??

Fast forward to the end of the holidays and an extra few days at home and we are all still talking to each other....pretty good when you consider we had Christmas to contend with, some 21 breakfasts, lunches and dinners to agree on, even when you add into the equation that we had to pack up and move holiday accommodation after the first week as we had booked two different places to keep costs down and even with all of the crap that we returned home to {you can read about that debacle here}.

That's not to say that every minute was peaches and cream.....

Like when you are packing up to leave and you put your pillow in the pile and hubby loses it because you didn't tell him you still had a pillow to pack and he's allocated all of the space and now everything is thrown out....    They take that trailer packing very seriously don't they!

Well hubby has returned to work today and already I am missing only having to shoulder half the load!  Thank goodness it will be the weekend tomorrow!!!!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Home Sweet F***ing Home

Well those of you who have been around for a while know that I don't really swear...well not out loud anyway...maybe a little in my head.

But this week has been worthy of a stream of expletives...believe me!!

As you know we have been away for 3 weeks on holidays...a simple little holiday on the coast an hour and a half from home that nearly didn't happen when 2014 kept presenting us with financial fact the final payment on our holiday accommodation was only made the day before we were due to arrive!

Anyways as a result it took a little while to relax into it...but hubby and I got there and by the last week we were feeling pretty relaxed.

Sadly the last day came and we packed up and headed home...

Now I'm not one of those people who loves to return home after a holiday...I think I am part gypsy because I could live out of that suitcase forever.... I totally love holidays and never want to go home!  I want to capture that holiday feeling, the carefree nature, the relaxed days and bottle it....I want it to last forever!

As we drove home hubby and I recalled how we had had an electrical issue in the days before leaving so hubby had turned the power off to avoid the house burning down while we were away.  We groaned a little because that meant that when we arrived home not only would we be faced with unpacking but we would also have to clean out the fridge and the chest freezer and get them running again.  I'm pretty sure hubby drove slower with this realization!

After a few pit stops to check the trailer load and a few toilet breaks we arrived home.  The cats were still away at their boarding holiday so we opened up the house, carried in the bits and pieces that had been jammed in under feet or inbetween children and the girls were relishing the thought of their first wi-fi in three weeks!

Less than 5 minutes later we were all gathered on the front verandah covered in....fleas....oh my bleep bleep fleas everywhere!

It was like the relaxed state that we had managed to achieve on holidays had been sucked out of us in an instant.  How were we going to deal with a house full of fleas.  

Hubby decided that he needed some lunch to enable the thinking process so we unhooked the trailer, pushed it into the garage and drove to the local shops for hamburgers...and bug spray!  We returned home, ate lunch in the car and then hubby and I made our way into the house armed with a can of spray each.

We sprayed under beds and over carpet, into nooks and crannies....then we had to sit outside with the girls and air the house out.  Eventually we all tentatively went back in.  There were still a few fleas fighting but it was a huge improvement on when we had first arrived home.

We had left the house in quite a state of literally looked like we had rummaged through our drawers, pulled out the clothes we wanted to take on holidays and left the others spilling out onto the floor! 

Lethargy set in though and we decided to do the bare minimum tonight...clean the fridge out, plug it back in, buy some bread and milk for the morning, grab some take away for dinner and leave everything else hoping it would all look better with the light of a new day.

The light of that new day was dim, very dim...overcast and a bit of rain...kinda appropriate because we then came to the realization that the fridge was not working...and on top of that I had a bag full of wet beach towels and cossies....all needing to be washed....

Hubby was a refrigeration mechanic in his early days so he spent a few hours tinkering with the fridge...a colourful collection of expletives could be heard coming from his direction!!

I spent the day washing towels and cossies and hanging them all over the house.  Now I regretted buying the girls those huge sized, super thick beach towels!!

Ice was purchased and the esky became our temporary fridge.  The deep freezer was cleaned and turned back on....thank goodness that still worked!  I went off to the supermarket in search of a wonderful selection of freezer meals and microwave meals...oh yum...and hubby endevaoured to mow the lawn after three weeks of absence.  When I got back home hubby's face told the story....yep....the lawn mover had packed it in half way through the front lawn.

So nearing four days later there is still the odd flea here and there, we are still waiting on a part to arrive to fix the fridge....though hubby is doubtful that it is going to work.....the esky is still in operation for milk, butter and juice....all of our meals have been devoid of fresh salad and vegetables...and we are getting to the point where we never want to see another frozen sausage roll as long as we live!!! 

Home Sweet Home.....NOT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Take me back to holidays.....pleeeeaaaaase!!!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Yes... I Hate The Beach.....




pretty much the three reasons why I hate the beach.....!!

Hear me out guys....I grew up in the Western Suburbs with older parents so trips to the beach were rare.....well more like non existent really.

So here's how I see it.... you can take the girl out of the Western Suburbs...but you can't take the Western Suburbs out of the girl !! 

Waking up on a scorching hot day and deciding upon a day trip to the beach is not something that fills me with joy!  I can't quite figure out why anyone would want to pile into the car with kids on a hot day and drive for what seems like forever to the beach to then stand out in the heat, have a little splash in the water, get covered in sand and then pile back into the car and drive all the way home...

But in an attempt to not pass on my completely absurd and neurotic behaviours to my girls day trips to the beach are a part of life.  As I catch the first glimpses of the ocean as we head down the coast I already feel like a fish out of water.  I dread rocking up to the beach in my Best N Less cossies and my Target thongs!

Then once I arrive at the beach...straight away there it is...SAND...there is no escape!!!  The sand is always so hot, burning the soles of your feet as you now scramble to carry beach bags, towels, squirming children....

Towels are then laid out, sun shelters erected and it is time for...yes...the WATER...argh really do we have to...can't we just sit here?

Cunningly I will take the youngest child who will need constant monitoring at the ankle deep edge of the water while hubby wrangles the others out in the deeper water.

Now I have to contend with both the sand and the water whilst standing in the intense heat of the SUN.....

Once the swimming is over, sand castles have been built and we are inevitably sunburnt despite applying and reapplying spf30 it is time to go home.....a moment of joy for me you would suspect....but's not....because it is at this point that husbands announce that no one can get into the car whilst one grain of sand remains on their bodies....what the??? Seriously??  

So now comes the attempts to remove all of the sand from kids legs, hands, bums.....seriously pardon my French but it sticks like sh*t to a the time you have managed to get as much of the sand off the kids and shoved them in the car before hubby has a chance to carry out sand inspections you have worked up a sweat!

And now you get all get into the car, drive all the way home with over tired children and a boot load of wet cossies and towels needing to be washed.  So this is supposed to be a great day out yeah?!?!

I have mellowed a little over the years and we now take beach holidays here and there...staying in a little cabin at a caravan park or a dilapidated old beach house which sounded so much better on the internet!!

It takes me a day or two to ease into the whole experience....and I'll admit that some nights I pray that it will be raining when I wake up in the morning and we can spend the day playing board games and watching Elvis re-runs on TV whilst admiring the beach that is my idea of a perfect holiday....especially if hot chocolate is involved.  But more often than not we are graced with clear blue skies and soaring temperatures!

I have a few 'beach holiday requirements'.....on the top of the list is that it must be possible to walk to the beach....I am not getting into the car to drive to the beach on a beach way! 

So see, by staying at the beach for a week or so I am able to eliminate the agonizing car trips to the beach......but sadly the one thing that I cannot eliminate is the can wash and hose and shower but it still  makes its way into the house.....bit by bit, grain by grain it builds up....and no matter how many times you sweep up the sand it is never completely gone....

Everyday, even two or three times a day, you have to sweep at the holiday house...I don't even sweep that often at home!  

You sweep up a little bit of sand....

....then a little bit more....

.....but you can still feel more sand under your you sweep some more...

...and before you know it.....there's a sand castle in your living room!!

After a week at the beach I do rejoice a little to be home....but even then you can't completely will be finding sand in your luggage, through your clothes, in your towels, in the'll be finding it for days after the holiday ends.....aaaarggh !!

We have just returned from a few weeks of 'glorious' weather by the beach...the beach towels are in the wash as we speak, there is sand in my handbag...seriously, my hand bag didn't even leave the house!!  And there is a trailer load of unpacking to be done!

That's the beach trips done for another year for this Western Suburbs gal!!  

Saturday, 3 January 2015

I am totally loving....

I am totally loving flowy pants...

Oh my gosh, how comfortable are's like wearing your pyjamas during the day...out in public!!

Generally I am a jeans gal....I love the extra tummy control that denim gives lol !!  But just before coming on holidays I splurged and bought a pair of flowy pants....and I absolutely love them!!

They are just so soft and comfortable...and so cool on a hot day... I'm raving now!!!

Miss 6 got a pair for Christmas too and they are just so darn cute....

I think I am converted....perhaps I will add a few more pairs to my wardrobe when I get home from holidays!!

What about you...flowy pants...yay or nay??

Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Years Resolutions....

Summer holidays....soaking in the view and seemingly having all the time in the world!  Far away from the hustle and bustle of home life, schedules, school, work, bills, pressure. The perfect time for making new years resolutions...not!

So sitting here surrounded by peace and tranquility I have come up with the following list of resolutions for 2015...

  • create more 'me' time   {that should actual read 'create me time' because really there isn't any at the moment!!}
  • eat less chocolate   {hmmm not sure how long that will last}
  • be more patient   {I am typing this one now because already miss 6 is wearing my patience thin.....very, very thin}
  • drink less coke   {that's probably not going to happen because of the point above}
  • be more organised   {oh but where to start???????}
  • Improve our financial situation  {I do not want to be counting dollars and cents and juggling from one account to another all year!}
  • go on more family outings   {that don't cost too much money because of our financial situation!}
  • prepare healthier meals for the family  {maybe I will have to learn what kale is !!}
  • put some of the ideas in my head into practice   {I have pipe dreams of an online maybe watch this space!!}
  • declutter   {pretty sure even Peter Walsh declutterer extraordinaire would have serious coronary problems if he saw my clutter}
  • read more books   {or finish one of the 3 I started last year!}
  • exercise more   {does watching everyone at the beach jogging and swimming count??}
  • actually finish something that I started knitting or crocheting  {oh my gosh I need my  mummy!!  She always used to fix my mistakes, pick up dropped stitches, cast on and off....!!}
  • blog more   {yep sorry guys...I might bore you to death!!}

Well we all know that a lot of these resolutions won't make it past the first week of January when I return home to chaos!!  ...but hey I'll give some of them my best shot!  Now back to enjoy the view for a bit longer!!