Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Weekend break

There is a small town by the sea,

That goes by the name of Port Rickaby.

It was a time of celebration, some friends came to stay,

To help celebrate a 30th birthday.

There were plenty of laughs, lamb on a spit,

Kids had a ball, there was no time to sit.

This rhyme is lame and Im out of steam,

Keep looking at my happy snaps if you are keen!




Wednesday, 24 October 2012

OMG I have a Toddler!

Master A (or Ace as he's known round these parts...more of the origin of the name later...) is 15 months, 14 days and 11hrs old to be exact and we've officially entered TODDLERVILLE!!

I have mixed feelings about this new territory we've entered. I dont feel quite prepared for what's in store.

Mostly he's a happy little boy, except when hes sick. Then you know when he's not well. But lately his mood changes so quickly. Like a women with bad PMS.

One minute he's all la dee daa happy. The next, hes wailing like a...well... baby!

I know what you're all saying by now - WELCOME TO PARENTHOOD!

Now i'm not that naive to know that this was too come but I guess I had this false hope that 'it will never happen to my child!'

And hey, this is nothing. This is just the tip of the iceberg but already im shaking in my little mothering boots. I didnt realise how unprepared I am. I have no idea how to handle a tantrum. I mean, how do you explain stuff to a 15mth old? He has no idea what im trying to say. All he cares about is cuddles, or snacks, or sucking the life out of Mr Seahorse.

Anyway, it got me thinking. What is the best age of a child? They all have their advantages and disadvantages. But I think ive come to the conclusion....

There isnt one.

Each day youre with your child, playing and learning and cuddling and teaching is special in its own form. You have to take the good with the bad. And the bad will only make you stronger to face the next bad day. And in the end the good days outweigh the bad. All they have to do is look at you with their cheeky grin and it makes you melt inside.

And I love him so.

(Didnt mean for this post to sound so melodramatic. Ace is not really that bad at all but ive been freaking out a little lately and needed to vent.)

Mel xx

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Kiwi muffins and a muesli slice

So as part of my weekend to do list, I wanted to make some healthy (ish) treats for our family for the week ahead. Kiwi fruit was out on special so I decided to whip up some Kiwi muffins. I also made one of our favourites-Muesli Slice. I make this instead of buying muesli bars (which are overpriced and can be full of sugar!)

The Muesli slice is a Donna Hay recipe so I'm thinking I cant repeat it here?? However it is found in her 2012 KIDS issue.
Basically its rolled oats, plain flour, any combo of dried fruits (I used apricots, figs and sultanas) and brown sugar (although i left this out). Combine this with melted butter and honey and bake in the oven until golden. Its so versatile because you can add as much or as little dried fruit as you like.
You could probably grate some apple or pear into it as well.

The Kiwi muffins are simple too:

5 Kiwifruit
1 cup SR flour sifted
3/4 cup wholemeal SR flour sifted
1/4 cup caster sugar (i left this out and they still tasted fine)
1 tspn baking powder
3/4 cup milk
75g melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten,

Preheat oven to 200C.
Cut 3 kiwifruit into four slices each. Coarsely chop the remaining two. Combine dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre and add combined wet ingredients and kiwifruit. Stir gently until combined.
Spoon into muffin trays lined with cases or baking paper. Then add a slice of kiwifruit on top.
Bake for 20mins or until cooked and golden.

Mmmm delicious!

I thought this would make the perfect snack for Master A since he loooves muffins. But he turned his nose up at it!
Oh well, all the more for me and Husby.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A repurposing exercise..Formula container

If you have children who were on formula at some point in their lives, your'e more than likely to have one of these containers lying around...

When i was cleaning out my pantry recently, I was at a loss as to how to contain my spice/herb bags that were just lying around. Enter 'Lightbulb Moment'!

Hey, why not repurpose one of these bad boys into a spice/herb container. The compartments were plenty big enough. This one has 4, just enough to empty all those pesky bags into.

I added some simple labels and VOILA! You have yourself a spice container. Just spin the opening around to the herb youre after!

Mel x

Monday, 15 October 2012


Lately I have been feeling extremely grateful for just being here.

Being alive, on this earth and being healthy.

My son is healthy and my husband is (mostly) healthy.

And we're all here.


In our own home.

Eating 3+ meals a day with fresh ingredients.

And we have (some) money in the bank. But its money nonetheless.

And im just so grateful for today, this very moment. And that I can enjoy all this with my wonderful family.

Moreso ive just been grateful for being a Mama to a healthy, happy little man.

Ever since becoming a mum, it hits home a lot harder when I watch documentaries, news reports or read magazines about young children , babies who have died. Left this earth way before their time and I just hope its because there is some greater purpose for them elsewhere.

I get so upset and feel somewhat guilty that I dont have to endure the heartache and anguish that these poor parents do.

No family should have to go through that hell

And every night i look at my son sleeping so soundly and peaceful in his comfy bed and my heart feels like its going to burst with the love I have for him.

And I just thank my lucky stars.

Mel xx

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Healthy dessert

We all love a scrumptious dessert but what about one that is delicious as well as healthy?! Oh and did I mention very simple?!

Enter the Berry Clafoutis! What is a Clafoutis you ask? Well, actually, I didnt know. But Google told me its a 'french baked cherry dessert with a battered flan top'. So, there ya go!

Anyway, I thought i'd share the recipe with you all.


500g frozen berries ( i used raspberries)
4 x eggs
250g thick natural yoghurt or ricotta
1/4 cup honey
150g almond meal
1tsp vanilla
zest of 1 orange

Preheat oven 180C. Arrange berries in the bottom of a flan dish (I just used a casserole dish).

Combine eggs, yoghurt, honey, almond meal, vanilla and zest using a whisk or processor until smooth.

Poor mixture over berries and bake for 30-40mins until golden.

Serve with cream or yoghurt. (Oops sorry about the quality of this pic. It was tastier than it looks here but the only photo I had of the finished product!)


Mel xx

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

About Me

I am a thirty something mother, wife, daughter, employee and friend.

I have a 15mth old son-Master A

Im from the south of Adelaide but grew up in the North

I met my husby at work and we have been together for 4.5yrs and married for about 18mths.

I used to be a vet nurse. I did love it but lost my passion for it. I still love all things animals though.

Now I work in Logistics/supply chain and I actually enjoy it!

I love photography.

I love to capture my sons life in photos. His photos albums will simply tell his story of how he grew up and all that encaptures his life.

I LOVE to cook! Its my time out. I find it both relaxing and rewarding and love making other people happy with my food.

Im interested in clean eating, additive free cooking and generally being healthier for myself and my family.

I also love to clean and organise which can drive Husby crazy! But its something I enjoy doing, so why not!

My favourite shows are Friends and The Hills (although im not sure if i should admit that!) I can watch them over and over and over and over.......

I have been a blog stalker for awhile. I thought blogs were nerdy interweb diaries until I stumbled across one in particular and it all spiralled from there. Now I love opening up Facebook and seeing what people have posted. I feel like these people are somewhat 'friends'. Sometimes I catch myself referring to them in real life as if I know them personally.

Im not a pretender, I just put out there whatever! But I hope you enjoy my Whatevers!

Mel xx

Monday, 8 October 2012

Sunday at the Fair

Sunday was a lovely day out at the Port Elliot fair.

We dont really get out much as a family, which is a shame, but I try and cram in as much as I can in the 2 days I have off and often the Husby is working. We usually just hang out together at home or with our friends.

But today their was a local-ish fair on and after some initial set backs (ie I forgot my purse and phone and had to backtrack and then we got kinda lost!!), we eventually got there.

Heres some pics of our day...

This little calf was only 4 days old!

Some goodies were purchased. I love wooden toys (and handbags!) so i bought a couple of Xmas presents....

...but Master A got to keep the walking frog! He loves it!
Hope you all had a lovely weekend with your families!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Our budget planner

Ive been using our budget planner since the start of this year and its the first time Ive actually stuck at it.
It was imperative that I kept track of our finances due to being on a low income until i returned to work and then having to survive on one wage. This planner helped take some of the stress out of worrying about money as i could plan what bills were due and what we had leftover for the 'fun' stuff!
I use Excel. I probably dont use it to its full potential but because I use it a lot at work, im getting better at formulas and macros etc.
So here's an overview:


Ive taken out the actual figures, for privacy reasons of course, but this is the basic layout. Normally this section is pretty standard from month to month but Hubby has just started a casual position so his section will differ depending.
example only (wish our mortgage was really $1000/mth!)

Here is where i record our regular monthly expenditure (minus food/fuel...thats to follow).
Again, this doesnt often change month to month but I use a colour code to know what has been paid and what is still to come. Some of these payments are direct debited so I know when they're due to come out. I also record these on a calender next to the computer. When they have been paid, I mark them GREENYELLOW are all pending payments. Then I calculate the total at the bottom.

I record my food and fuel expenditure separately as this is where I can save money if needed. I class them as my 'variables'. I set myself a budget of $440 for food and $200 for fuel per month. This seems to work out pretty close to but if money is looking tight I can always jiggle these costs around.
I update this as i go along for the month and then its saved for when i want to look back at how we can do better next time.

Then I have our quarterly and yearly bills. This is what has been really handy for me as Ive been able to predict when the next bill/s are coming in.
Im sure most of your Utility bills come quarterly, so mark what month you receive and then colour the box 3 months down the track. So in this case i can see next month we'll get Electric, Gas and our council rates (YUCK!)  and in December our RAA is due. Then I can budget around that.

Finally at the bottom I have the grand total of what will be left in the kitty. I use formulas to subtract our sub total expenditures from our income.

So I hope that might have helped some of you looking at preparing a budget.
Its not foolproof but i go back to this every couple of days and compare our bank balance to see how we're travelling.