Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Taking stock...

My ‘Blog Sensei’ Pip Lincolne, has written her latest Taking Stock list and thought with the year drawing to a close it was a good time to do the same.
Making : Lists for xmas shopping
Cooking : Ragu and Spaghetti for dinner
Drinking : Water (boring)
Reading: 'Bossypants' by Tina Fey- She is so funny, hilarious read
Wanting: More time
Looking: Forward to warmer days
Playing: around with my blog theme
Deciding: What to get everyone for Christmas
Wishing: There were better health food shops nearby
Enjoying: My
Blog with Pip course
Waiting: for Anchorman 2 to come out!
Liking: giving the creative side of my brain a workout

Wondering: When Master Q will start walking!
Loving: my library membership! (I still can't believe you can borrow these books for free!)
Pondering: What’s in store for 2014
Considering: Whether to return to work after my leave (arrghhh!!)
Watching: Veep, second season, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the bomb

Hoping: husband’s work gets published – he deserves it
Marvelling: at my kids beginning to play together
Needing: Panadol
Smelling: Floor cleaner
Wearing: Summer PJ's for once!
Following: Blogs by fellow 'Blog with Pip' students (they are awesome!)
Noticing: I need to make the bed
Knowing: what they say about motherhood is true: “The days are long but the years are short”
Thinking: where has 2013 gone?!
Feeling: Grateful that I can put off work for another 7 months
Admiring: my son’s long eyelashes (why is it that boys get the long ones?!)
Buying: A photography course (my Xmas present!)
Getting: Annoyed that my floor only stayed clean for 10 minutes!
Bookmarking: Recipes for icing/frosting with no sugar (virtually impossible to get right!)
Opening: A Pinterest account!
Giggling: At the comedic faces Miss M pulls
Feeling: Tired but happy


What are you thinking of in the lead up to the festive season?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Choc Tahini Balls (Sugar-Free)

Finally another recipe! One thing that is difficult to adjust to on this sugar-free gig is satisfying the after-dinner sugar craving. I can honestly say that the craving for something sweet after dinner is in no way like it was before giving up sugar, but there are still times when I stand in front of the pantry wishing there was a 'little something' that could satisfy me.
Pre-quitting sugar it would have been chocolate licorice bullets (the homebrand ones were the best!), or peanut M&M's or when I was being 'good', Lindt Dark Orange chocolate. But now that they are on the no-go list I am always looking for healthier alternatives to these sugar-laden night-time snacks and here is a little one I whipped up.

They are quick to make, no food-processor required and are made of healthy, protein filled ingredients that are easily sourced from the local supermarket. Miss M has given 'Mum's sticky balls' (better than her saying Dad's sticky balls I suppose!)  the tick of approval and after eating the trial batch all myself I can also attest that they are ahem jam packed with fibre!

Choc Tahini Balls


(Yields 28 balls)

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
6 tablespoons rice malt syrup
2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder
1 tablespoon LSA mix/Almond Meal/Hazelnut meal


1.Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, adjusting rice malt syrup quantity to your sweetness level
2.Roll into teaspoon sized balls
3.Refridgerate and eat when craving hits!!

What is your favourite after-dinner treat?

Monday, 18 November 2013

Excuse me...Sun? Is that you?

Oh sun, how I’ve missed thee! When the sun decides to appear (which at the moment in Melbourne feels like hardly ever, arrghh!) one of the things I look forward to the most is hanging washing outside. Is that sad? For 'southerners' with kids, you will agree that most days feel like a never-ending cycle of transferring loads of washing from the washing machine to the dryer or maybe the inside clothes horse, folding and then back into the drawers again. You don’t even bother hanging it outside for at least five months of the year because it would never dry. Lately you wouldn’t dare hang it outside even if it did seem like ‘good drying weather’ since it would most probably end up raining before it was dry anyway!

There is something about washing hanging outside; it feels cleaner, happier even (is it possible for clothes to be happy?!). Standing at the clothes line this morning with the sun's warmth on my back I was reminded how much I miss sunny Queensland. Since I spent most of my life there the adjustment to the erratic and unpredictable Melbourne weather has been a challenge. I liked the fact that back home (which is what I call Queensland) once the warm weather starts up around September, you can pack your winter clothes away (which mainly only consists of jeans and a long sleeve t-shirt anyway) and introduce your white legs to the beginnings of summer.  And that is it, until next winter.

In Melbourne there is usually one warm day at the end of September: The Teaser, when the sun makes an appearance and I think YIPPEE! It’s on! I begin thinking of picnics in the park, trips to the beach and flowy dresses. But then BAM! The next day is back to 14 degrees, I have the heater cranked up and the winter woolies back on. I can’t handle it! I think this year every Melbournite will agree it has gone on way too long. It’s the middle of November and I am still in winter PJ’s!

But what can you do, as my husband likes to remind me “if you don’t like the weather in Melbourne, just wait five minutes”. It’s true. So for now I will soak it up, I will don my t-shirt, sit outside with my cup of coffee and flip around the house in my thongs. Better do it while I can, it will be back to 17 degrees soon…

What is your favourite summer moment?

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Just one more champagne cocktail...please!

So I have been in a bit of a blog rut lately, hence the tumbleweeds blowing past by blog pages (Ha! Ha!) . You would think that after my four day kid-free mini break I would be floating and taking on life with gusto, right? Well I was hoping this would be how felt when I returned home but instead I have been hit with the post-holiday slump. Obviously I have experienced this before, who hasn’t? But I didn’t think I would feel this way after returning to a job and colleagues (Miss M and Master Q J) that I actually love. My first day back at ‘work’ I was calm, cool and in control. I flittered around the house like a 1950’s TV Mum. The next day I decided to tackle toilet training Miss M. Well in the first 45 minutes we had two accidents and she refused to sit on the potty for more than 2 seconds. We then had tantrums, crying, yelling and well by this stage my blood pressure had started to rise and the calm and collected me quickly faded away. In my ‘paid’ job I have dealt with stressful situations and I thought I would have been well prepared to tackle the stresses that come with Motherhood, boy was I wrong. How is it that just trying to get a screaming 2 year old strapped into her car seat, while she kicks and thrashes about can set your blood pressure sky high? After an incident like this (which lately is happening a lot more frequently, damn those terrible twos!!) I can feel my blood pressure set off and stay on this course for the rest of the day, the littlest tantrum threatening to take me over the edge.

My holiday was everything I had been dreaming of in the weeks and days leading up to it. My bestie and I lingered over meals, relishing not having to feed someone else or clean up afterwards (!), we leisurely got out of bed in the morning (after going to the toilet alone!), spent a whole day shopping with my only worry being to make it to happy hour on time! (Man I wish I was there now!) It was what Mothers dream of! I was trying to ensure I soaked up every little minute of this freedom but to be honest after the novelty of my first day ‘off’ I had already settled into pre-kids Nicole and living this care-free, Nicole-centric life felt like the norm! I think this is what added to my crash back to reality upon my return. It was wonderful to see the kids of course (I don't know why I felt it necessary to write that line actually, but I suppose I felt like a bad Mum for loving my break away from them) but it hardly felt like I had left!


Nearly two weeks back into it and the shock is slowly wearing off and I am settling back into the rollercoaster ride that is being a Mum of a 2 year old and 1 year old. Now that I have taken some time to reflect on my time away I have come up with some new goals (none life changing or greater good making but nonetheless…)
1. Must attempt to have shower every morning, even if it requires military planning
2. I will stop wearing MY PREGNANCY LEGGINGS!
3. I will attempt to put on make-up when I leave the house
4. I will make time to spend on my creative pursuits, even if it means upping my coffee intake! (Coincidentally I have just started a wonderful blogging course with Pip Lincolne, Blog with Pip, which is spurring me on with this goal)
5. I will remember that looking after myself in both body and soul makes me a better Mum and wife and human being. Note to self: ‘There is nothing wrong with putting yourself first sometimes, your family with thank-you for it’.